When you continuously are making excuses for poor product quality and performance or sub-par service and maintenance, how invested are you in client success?
Regardless of whether you design, sell or serve, clients do not initially do business with you anticipating a client retention strategy focused on listening to your excuses.
If you are making excuses in order to retain clients, it is time to take your professional pulse.
Some clients purchase on price, rather than product quality and performance. These clients have a well-developed habit of picking apart what is wrong with your deliverables, and all of their other suppliers’ deliverables, as well. Even when there is nothing wrong. Which means that in order to retain them, you discount or refund or offer a two-for-one deal. Which is exactly what these clients want. In fact, they are hoping you will cave into their behavior. What type of story do you create with a client base full of price-hunters? Consider your own employee experience with these clients? Should you retain them, moving forward?
Then again, do you want to retain highly discerning clientele? Yet, your company may not have the breadth and depth to deliver on their product and service specifications. You take the risk, pass yourself off as something you are not, and land the project. And then what happens when you fall short on what you promised to deliver? Attempting to retain discerning clients by making excuses for poor performance tells them your entire story. By completely ignoring their customer experience is it realistic to expect them to retain you?
If you find yourself making excuses to retain far too many of your clients, consider whether you are targeting the right clients.
It takes a lot of work to find your professional sweet spot. Ultimately, the goal is continuously targeting, acquiring, delivering and retaining clients who are a perfect fit for your talents. When you hit this target, your clientele become raving evangelists for your brand. However, saying “yes” to the right clients for the right reasons also involves saying “no” to the wrong ones, for the right reasons.
One of the best professional barometers is realizing when you spend too much time making excuses to existing clients in order to retain them. Do you have some professional and client development homework to do? Take the next steps, below.
- Planning your next team, corporate or association meeting? Engage me to present one of my Storytelling for STEM Professionals and Left Brain Thinkers speaking programs, workshops or moderated facilitation services. Contact me here.
- Download my new checklist and worksheet: Six Professional Development Targets to Hit each Month.
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Babette Ten Haken’s One Millimeter Mindset® Storytelling for STEM Professionals and Left Brain Thinkers speaking programs leverage purpose-driven value differentiation through storytelling, to create and retain successful employees and clients.
Find out more about Babette’s professional story here. Babette is a member of SME, ASQ, SHRM and the National Speakers Association. Her playbook of communication hacks, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com. Babette’s speaker profile is on the espeakers platform. Contact Babette here.
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