"I love you!" That's what everyone wants to hear from their customers. But how do we get that feeling? How do we get our clients to love us. Give them great service, right? Nope! They still complain and may even leave for another cheaper vendor. Is there a process?
Well, we must NOT assume that being polite and replying to requests quickly is the answer. That's nice, but not the answer. How many times have you jumped through rings of fire for your client just to have them want more! So, what to do?
One (BEFORE THE INITIAL MEETING) - When you first approach your client, approach them as an expert. This means treating the entire process like it is an equal and fair exchange and NOT like they are doing you a favor by "giving" you the work. This requires a serious attitude change for many of us, which unfortunately cannot be accomplished with one email post! In any case, for those of you not there yet, remember that your prospect is missing the time, resources and/or expertise that you have, otherwise they wouldn't be talking to you. So, you are filling a need. No favors are being done here. Embracing this idea will help you project your power effectively and help them respect your benefits.
Two (DURING YOUR PITCH) - Be clear about the BENEFIT that they are going to get, NOT the details of what you are going to do! Too often we spend time "justifying" our work/price by showing or telling the prospect all the work we are going to do. At their core, they don't care at all! They care about the result. If we don't over-emphasis the result, they wind up judging us on the work/time instead. This is always bad. One - customers don't like paying for your time, they like paying for results . Two - if they pay for your time/work, you are creating an "Employee" situation and many times they will begin to micro -manage and find problems. You are not the expert anymore! They are! You're just another one of their employees. In fact, you're an expensive one that they they need to get the maximum from! So, avoid this by pushing benefits and results, not activity!
Three (THE FINAL PRODUCT) - Ensure that you provide them with at least the STATED BENEFIT. Well, duh, right? Wrong! Many times we do not! Instead we give them lots more on another area. Usually one that they didn't even ask about, but we thought we'd "take care of them." They wanted A, B and C. We gave them A, B, D, E, F, G, H, I and J. Look at all they got! They should be happy right? Nope! They say what happened to C? We say but you got D,E,F,G,H,I and J! They are unhappy and want us to do C for free! So, do NOT do extra, until you complete the minimum. You will NOT get bonus points unless you complete the minimum.
Four (DURING SERVICE/DELIVERY) - Verbally paint a picture of their success. Use success stories of other clients, invoking social proof. This predisposes them to success. Also, if you need to give them bad news, be sure to also have good news with it. And be sure to always end on good news and/or a solution.
Bad normal example "I'm so sorry. This is totally my fault. We are going to be two days late. The XYZ segment is trashed. I hope this doesn't totally destroy your schedule."
Way better example - "The XYZ segment will be delayed. This will push the schedule back two days. But it will ensure that this is perfect. You'll get the same benefit and the segment will be exactly what you need, perfected to your specs."
Five (END GAME) - Now do an awesome job. As long as you followed 1-4, you can over deliver and blow them away with how wonderful you are. Here's a very important piece. Once they have received your product/service and are happy, ask for a referral. If they pass you on to someone else, they will naturally sing your praises and say how they LOVE YOU!