Over the weekend I was speaking at the Reaching for the 7th Dimension Conference, and because I choose not to drive, I hired a car service.
You know, I try not to complain because it lowers my vibe, but I just have to say… when I treat myself to a limo ride to and from a venue, it’s supposed to be a TREAT.
This dude shows up in plain clothes, in a big white Chevy LT or whatever, like a big jeep, doesn’t open the door for me, and then on the way back more of the same, only now he smells like alcohol and cigarettes, talks on his cell to a client while he’s driving (and tries to front like he has other drivers when it’s obviously just him), gets my street wrong, completely overshoots my house, and then hands me all my heavy bags to carry to my door myself. Wow. Seriously??
So okay… an extreme example of customer service gone wrong, right?
But here’s how this applies to you and your business..
1. Be clear and direct about who you are, who you serve and what your business actually does – and focus on those people and that service. This is not only marketing but it also applies to your sales conversations. I know what it can feel like to want to take just anyone as a client when the bigger money isn’t coming in, but if you stop doing that, clients who are more a match for you and your services will come to you instead. This dude might be fine for 20 or 30 something year olds who are partying it up and want a ride home from the club. And if his advertising on the Internet had showed this, I would’ve hired someone else. And that’s a good thing for your business, because then your peeps will be HAPPY and the word won’t be spread about how bad your services are.
2. Don’t try to overcompensate if you’re feeling small. Don’t do it. At networking events, this can show up in the form of acting the part of someone much wealthier and more successful than you actually are. Or saying you can take people to 6 figures when you’re not there yourself. Hey, I believe in “faking it until you make it” to a point… but if it means you’re being inauthentic in an attempt to make your business sound like it’s something it isn’t – just don’t do it. People can feel that. My intuition was going ding ding ding when the guy told me as he left that he’d make sure he’d be the one to come back because of my scent allergies. A) I could tell he IS the only one to come back and B) he came back smelling of cigarettes and I clearly told him I am allergic to cigarette smoke.
3. Make your clients feel special. Now, to be completely transparent here, I’ve had some situations come up where that was NOT happening in my own business (ouch). You do NOT want your clients to be wondering how much you care about them. You are all big-hearted people, I know, it’s not that I’m talking about. And giving away too much for free isn’t what I’m talking about either. For me, I’ve recently implemented a better email system, given my private clients a super-secret email they can contact me through for a quicker response, and I’m hiring a new VA who has a reputation for client care and really enjoys it. I’m also setting up better systems. I realize not all of you are at the point of hiring a big Team, but what I’m saying here is do whatever it takes. It’s your reputation on the line.
4. Be committed to excellent service. I know most of you are, and hopefully none of you are doling out the kind of service that limo driver is providing, but when you commit to a high standard of excellence in whatever it is you do, it becomes much easier to charge higher fees.