We’ve focused on how to go about winning new clients in previous posts so thought I’d just clarify the best ways NOT to attract them – the deadly sins to avoid at all costs!
Below are the rules that will not only ensure you do NOT win new business, but probably lose the business you already have.
Once you’ve completed a sale or a project, make sure your client never hears from you again. Have the attitude that if they need you, they’ll call. However, don’t make it easy for them to get in touch – whatever you do, don’t leave them your brochure or business card.
2. Don’t ever return phone calls
You should just wait for them to call you. If they really need you, they’ll persevere until they finally get hold of you. Leaving a few messages is no hardship. But remember, when contact is made, be sure to sound impatient and too busy, letting it be known by your attitude that their call is an inconvenience to your busy day.
3. Make sure that nobody really understands what you do
Use lots of industry jargon and never share stories of how you’ve helped a client to achieve their goals or how one of your products has revolutionised one of your customer’s businesses. Just assume they know what you do all day and every day before you meet with them. If it looks like they may need your services, change the subject to confuse them and talk about things that you don’t offer.
4. Put up a make-shift website
You know the type – most pages still under construction and looking very amateurish. Dodgy links and huge images will make sure that they stay on your site a bit longer, or of course come back to see if they can get them working. If they’re frustrated then it isn’t your problem is it? You only needed something on the world wide web – it doesn’t really matter what as long as you’re there.
5. Just talk about yourself
Whatever you do, don’t listen to what they have to say. Just tell them the features of your products or services but don’t relate them to any meaningful benefits to your prospects business. Certainly don’t mention successes you have achieved with existing clients – this meeting is about you after all.
6. Don’t ask any questions when you have your initial meeting
Just give them a long presentation that you find really interesting about your own company. After all, they need to understand how great you are rather than you needing to know how you can actually help them.
7. Don’t ever network
You don’t want people to meet you in person, do you? People should know who you are and what you can do for them already – if they don’t they probably won’t use you anyway. However, if you do happen to find yourself at a networking event by mistake, make sure you sit in a corner and glare at anyone who looks likely to approach you – they’re only being nosy.
8. Do substandard work as long as you think you can swing it
Strive for mediocrity. Why should you go the extra mile when you’re already getting paid for doing as little as possible to get by. They need you and have no choice in the matter – they wouldn’t think of going elsewhere, would they?
9. Don’t even think about writing articles or giving a presentation
People might think you’re an expert and you don’t want to share any of your expertise or product secrets with people unless they’re going to pay you first. They might even want you to do some work for them as a result of reading or listening to something you’ve done.
10. Don’t use your spell-checker or proofread correspondence
Are you bothered if someone gets your name wrong? Most people don’t care about the odd typo. If you focus on getting as many emails or letters out then people understand you don’t really give them individual attention. As for signing letters or putting contact lines on emails, they know how busy you are, don’t they?
If any of these sound familiar, action is needed IMMEDIATELY!
I’m sure there are lots more – if you can think of any, let us know – it’s been great fun writing this post and by reversing it you’ve got a ready made client commitment charter!