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Library  »  Categories  »  Elite Training  »  How NOT to attract new clients!

How NOT to attract new clients!

You might want to consider this as a bit of a spoof article.  However, if you recognise any of these examples you may want to address how you deal with your customer relationships.  As can often be the case, we may be guilty of a lack of attention or consideration, not as a deliberate act, but rather because we are distracted elsewhere or have just lost focus.  We sometimes fail to appreciate the effect that a loss of concentration may have on our business relationships.

Below are examples of the kind of behaviour that may not only prevent you from winning any new business, but may quite possibly cause you to lose what business you already have.

1. Disappearing under the radar

Once you’ve finished a project (or responded to an enquiry) don’t contact your client again.  They won’t want to be hassled or pestered anyway; and you aren’t really interested in whether they were pleased or not - so long as they’ve paid.  Don’t follow through with anything as it may just lead to more work or bother for you.  Just wait for them to initiate each contact.  Don’t waste time and effort trying to anticipate their needs as they’ll just think you’re a nuisance.  If they need you, they’ll call you.  You shouldn’t worry about regular correspondence either as it just makes you look desperate.

2. Not responding to messages or replying to emails

They should expect to chase you if they want you, of course.  They’ll just have to persevere until they finally get hold of you; after all, leaving a few messages is no real hardship.  They need to appreciate that you are busy and aren’t able to just drop whatever you’re doing and run to do their bidding.  They also can’t really expect you to sound pleased or eager to help when you’re run ragged - they’ll just have to wait until you have the time.  They’ll understand, for sure.

3. Being vague and unclear

Use industry jargon and techno-babble when talking about what you do - it sounds cool and at least makes you seem as if you know what you’re doing.  If they aren’t able to figure it out, or aren’t already familiar with it, then they probably don’t need your help anyways.  Don’t waste time worrying about trying to explain things in terms of their practical value; you shouldn’t need to walk them through it step by step anyway.  Don’t put the work into developing case studies for your competitors to sift through and steal ideas from.  Besides, no one wants to be bothered or distracted with too much information.

4. Relying on a holding page for your website

What does it matter, especially if most of your business doesn’t come from the internet anyways?  It’s enough to ‘check the box’; all you need is a simple page with your contact details.  If they need more information your competitors have probably wasted money on an expensive website - they can look there.  With larger websites things like broken links, unnecessary flash animation, huge image files (that take forever to download), poor navigation and worse content all go with the territory - you’re saving your customers from a headache.  If visitors to your site are frustrated and can’t find the information they want it isn’t your problem is it?  If they want to know they should just pick up the phone.

5. Being too self-absorbed

Look, time’s short and your time is precious, so make sure you say what you need to about what you do.  You don’t have time to be interested in anything other than whether they want to buy right now.  Otherwise, they’re just wasting your time (which you already don’t have).  You certainly don’t have time to listen to their worries and concerns and hold their hand.  If they can’t figure out how you’re better than your competitors, then they’ll only waste more of your time being indecisive.  Certainly don’t waste the time explaining case studies or real examples - they probably won’t buy anyways so what’s the point?

6. Not asking any questions

Let’s face it, you’re not really all that interested in their problems - besides, you have enough of your own to keep you busy.  You have already given them information about you and your products and services; just let them get on with it.  Asking questions only creates more problems or more work anyways.  You’re not there to gossip or be an ‘agony aunt’; besides, they ought to know already what they want without you needing to coax it out of them.  Again, if they don’t know how best they might utilise your products and services or what they really want, how are your supposed to figure it out?  Their problems are on a ‘need to know’ basis, and you don’t need to know.

7. Not ever networking

You have got way too much work to do to meet people in person; they waste enough of your time over the phone.  Everyone knows that the only good reasons for networking are free food and an excuse to get out of the office.  You haven’t got time to listen to people who will only be interested in talking about themselves.  No one is ever ready to do business then and there and they surely won’t pass on your details to anyone you’d like to do business with, so why bother?  If you can’t get out of it, just take loads of business cards and pass them out to everyone at the beginning and get out as quickly as you can.  Don’t waste any more time - if they’re interested, they’ll call you.

8. Doing the bare minimum to get by

Look, there’s no point doing more than you have to.  You just make more work for yourself and it ends up costing YOU time and money that you’ll never reclaim.  You should aim for ‘good enough’ - which still gets you paid.  Why bother with all the extras that will probably go unnoticed and unappreciated anyways?  Besides, we all know how fickle most customers are - no point in wasting time and effort.  Customers aren’t going to go out of their way to make things better for you, so why should they expect it for themselves?  Never give them more than what you promised (which hopefully wasn’t very much); you’re not running a charity.

9. Not writing articles or providing expert opinion

No one wants to hear someone banging on about how much they know and what they think is ‘best practice.’  We all have to listen to people talking about themselves enough as it is.  Besides, most people will accept that you wouldn’t be working in your industry if you didn’t know what you’re doing in the first place.  And we all know that giving away advice and talking about best practice just allows people to get something for nothing.  It only encourages them to never buy from you - all they need to do is wait around for some more free advice.

10. Failing to pay attention to the details

Are you really all that bothered if someone gets your name wrong on a business letter?  Most people are happy to overlook typos, spelling mistakes and obvious errors; they’ll appreciate you are probably very busy and just haven’t got time.  What’s the big deal anyways, so long as they get the gist of it.  They’ll know you are more interested in paying attention to the things that really matter, won’t they?

If any of these examples sound familiar, you may want to take action quickly!  We’re sure there are several other examples of poor customer care, but we think this list should help you to look more closely at your own behaviour with regard to your clients (or prospects).  By reversing these examples, you may also have the basis for developing a customer commitment charter from them.