There’s a difference between accommodating somebody and being polite when you run a business. For example, if a client says to you, “I’m looking for a company that can do this for next week” and you tell them that you can handle it despite knowing deep down that it can’t happen next week at all, it is only going to be problematic down the road. Basing your business operations on simply keeping clients happy while being unrealistic is a ticking time bomb waiting to happen, so let’s take a more in-depth look at this issue to ensure it doesn’t happen to you.
Honesty Really is the Best Policy
The best approach is to be honest, even if it’s not what they want to hear. Admitting that you can’t handle a task because it’s a busy time of the year might sound like you’re losing a sale, but it could actually protect you from rushing through tasks for other clients to accommodate for a new one, doing poor-quality work on each.
Instead of pretending you can do the job for the client for next week, a better approach is to check your schedule, figure out a realistic timeframe, and tell the truth. This is one of those instances where being a “yes man” can cause all sorts of headaches later on. Some clients want to only hear what they want for various reasons, but it doesn’t mean that your business will benefit from doing this. In fact, it could be damaging to your reputation, efficiency, and profits.
Transparency and Speaking Your Mind
Speaking your mind based on your own experience and knowledge will take you further than simply smiling and nodding despite knowing that you should be shaking your head. Many clients will appreciate that you’re honest and upfront — it’s an indicator that your business operates on a transparent, no-nonsense basis and won’t hide anything from them. This means a lot more to most customers than making empty promises just to make them temporarily happy.
Don’t be Afraid to Ask Questions
Asking questions and gathering all the info you can is a great way to engage with clients. It allows your team to develop a deeper understanding of what they want and whether it’s even possible. Many clients may ask for something and not yet fully realize what it involves or whether it’s worth it to them. By asking questions, you can figure out what it is they’re really coming to you for and whether your team is even the right fit for the job in question.
Don’t just settle with being a people pleaser. Instead, be yourself! You’ll find that your business will do better by developing stronger connections with clients who better understand what you can deliver.