What to do after losing a sale!
How to recover from a lost customer!
How to save the deal!
How to follow up and get the sale!
The internet is full of tips on how to avoid losing a potential customer.
What you don't get so much of, is how to establish whether that customer would have been good for you in the first place.
I deal with customer money issues every day, I advise, I encourage and gently push people to be realistic about what their needs are.
It is easy to start with your financial needs. However I find if you get specific about why and what you need to have happen in your life, then the business and financial decisions become easier to stand by.
What do I mean by that?
“I was not the boss of my own business, I was an employee without the benefits.”
One of my businesses offers a bookkeeping service. Just like most of my colleagues and competitors, I used to charge hourly rates. I only sent an invoice when work was completed or at the same agreed time each month. If there was no work done, I did not get paid.
And worse, there were many times that I did some work and spent a long time, sorting through a client's mess. Then on completion I only charged a fraction of the actual time I worked.
I was afraid they would not only reject the bill, but possibly decide that I was too expensive and stop using me.
Not being an employee was supposed to mean no longer dancing to somebody else's tune. Well now I was dancing to the tunes of many and I felt I had little control. I was not the boss of my own business, I was an employee without the benefits.
Over the years that scenario has changed dramatically. My clients have moved from people who tell me what they want, to people who ask me what I think.
That was no accident. It was because I changed my expectations, and in turn my approach to how I sold and looked after customers. Which also led to other ways to bring value, free as well as paid.
I realised that in some ways I would have to work harder. I would have provide more than just entering transactions and emailing an invoice. I was going to have to get to know what they really wanted as entrepreneurs and as people, and then see how I could contribute.
“By definition, I am a rescuer”
But it has and is still not plain sailing. If you have been following me for a while, you will know that by definition I am a Rescuer. My first instinct is to jump in solve everything, even if I lose out.
If things were tight for a customer, I would postpone a price increase, even though all my costs had gone up.
After spending lots of time trying to figure out the best pricing structure, the best sales technique, the glossiest brochure, the best course to buy to get me from “zero to seven figures in 28 days” (yes I am being sarcastic). Finally I came to the conclusion, reluctantly, that the thing I had to change first was me.
Then what happened I became more bold about what offer because I got more interested in what people got from me and my services. Too long to go into here, but listen to the podcast and you will get much more tips and strategies that you can use to help you.
Fast forward. Now I say what the prices or packages are, and I stay silent. I may sometimes ask how it sounds to them. But what I no longer do, is jump in and try to fix the price.
Sure I offer payment plans, but that is it. And you know what, it is not just for my sake, but for my clients also.
Because I want to enjoy working with them.
Every company or entrepreneur I deal with is a total pleasure. I or any of my team are not working until one o'clock in the morning. Tired and resentful about missing family time. Desperately trying to finish tasks that we know in our hearts we are probably not going to be properly paid for. No my friends, not anymore.
“We hide behind time to make it easier to justify our prices”
This is not me encouraging you to go out and put your prices up to outrageous amounts just to make a point. Never forget you have to justify whatever you charge. Whatever you can do to make your customers lives, easier, happier, more profitable, stress free, then do it.
All I am saying is it just does not have to be based on time. We hide behind time to make it easier to justify our prices. I have seen something as simple as a one percent change in price shift business out of survival mode.
If you can relate to what I am saying, but you are afraid to make changes towards being a person who charges for the value they bring, let me leave you with a thought
“What someone else can afford has got nothing to do with you”
“Even with a high income, you can still be an under earner”
“Building your business or income makes it easier for you to help others build theirs”
I would love to know about you.
What are your thoughts on the how others view the value you bring to your work or business? What is the impact on your life in general? What has your experience been like?
Please share in the comments below, you may help someone else in the process because Everyone deserves to sleep like a baby at night
Wishing you the best