I hear people complain all the time about their lack of business or their frustration about not retaining clients. Lately, my mind is increasingly more boggled by how frequently those same people stare blankly at me when I ask about how much thought they give to the overall experience their clients have with them. Usually, it goes something like this:
So, how do you follow up after a project is completed?
“Well, they’re on my email list.”
So, the next time they hear from you, after giving you their money, will be when you broadcast something to all?
“Uh, I guess so.”
So how often do you send something to your list that isn’t sales-related?
“……….. uhhhh……why would I do that?”
I think you get the idea…
This list is for them – the awesome professionals that just can’t seem to figure out what they’re doing wrong. Next time you lose a client, this list might help you figure out why.
So, here are the most popular ways you can lose friends and alienate your clients:
1. Ignore them.
It’s really simple. All you have to do is make sure that everything on your to-do list gets jammed firmly between you and responding promptly to your clients’ emails. I totally get it. Analyzing your belly-button lint IS important. So is making sure your cat knows where all his toys are. You are busy. I get it.
For extra credit, you can even try missing a meeting or two.
2. Make a promise or two that you tooootally can’t keep.
This one is way easy. All you have to do is say yes to everything, neglect to use a calendar or to-do list, and be too cheap to hire an assistant. Voila! Broken promises galore. You will FORGET more than you will remember. You’ll have them dropping like flies.
3. Sign up for every single social media site you can find.
Yup. All of em. Go gung-ho for like a month or so and then lose your logins and forget all about them. People we be so annoyed they will start bad mouthing you left and right. Even your most loyal people will start to question your integrity.
The old standby. Make up as many excuses as you can. Your car got a flat tire with your dog in the backseat who got sick from eating your presentation on the way to the big meeting. So, you had to pull over in a bad neighborhood, go mugged and then amnesia from the trauma. You’re so sorry, but you just can’t remember who your best clients are, or why you have their money.
Autotweet. Hire people to pretend they’re you. Use get-rich-quick shortcuts. Remember, even if you lose 25% of people [who think you’re douchey]… 75% is still good, right?!?
Make outlandish claims. Refuse refunds. Pretend you have three left of something that is available electronically. People LOVE false urgency. It makes them feel all twitchy insecure – like they might miss something important.
7. Make a totally worthless product.
Whatever you sell should be over-hyped and you should have a solid plan to under-whelm buyers. If that doesn’t work, try re-hashing other people’s work.
8. Lie some more.
Fabricate a ridiculous story to make yourself look good. When the truth comes out, your former people will run like their hair’s on fire.
Above all, the very most effective thing you can do to blow people off is to completely ignore the golden rule.
Works every time.