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By connect I mean emotionally connect.  If you’re emotionally connecting your customers don’t see you as authentic.  It might be one of the reasons you have more customer turnover than you want.

A vending story.

When I had my vending company any potential client that had more than 200 employees had to be someone we wanted to work with.  We were in a pretty small market area and to make our company work we had to have a certain amount of sales every year.

That meant we would take customers that we just never connected with.  I always felt like I was on pins and needles when I talked with them.  I knew they didn’t really like me and I knew they definitely didn’t think much of me.  I could say the same was true about my feelings about them.

We worked harder with these accounts and bent over backwards.  Because there wasn’t a basic compatibility we were never really able to please them.  Because of the incompatibility we spent way more time and effort on bad customers than our great ones.

On the other hand customers where we connected were easy.  I didn’t always feel like I had to be on my best behavior.  Because we weren’t pushing too hard we really did provide incredible service to those customers.

It was an uncomfortable place to be.  It’s what led me to learn one of the important lessons of business.

Have a right sized market.

The problem with my vending company was my potential market wasn’t big enough.  I felt I couldn’t ever say no to someone that qualified in a numeric basis for my company.

Now, my market is absolutely huge.  Our wealth management business allows us to say no to the wrong client.  This allows us to say yes to the right ones.  Because our wealth management market is so big, we have to figure out how to make it smaller.  So you see, it’s not just making it bigger it’s making it the right size.

Are you in a position to say no.  If you are do you?

Ask yourself some tough questions.

You need to spend time with yourself.  You need to ask whether the people you’re working with are compatible with you.  If the answer is no, find a way to let those clients go someplace else.

When you let clients that aren’t compatible leave you’re making space for those that do.  When you really understand your customer you’re able to provide better service to them.  You’re able to work in a manner with less stress.  You’ll become more creative and useful to your clients.  Isn’t this something that sounds attractive to you?

Congruency and authenticity need to be among your favorite words.

When your actions are congruent and you’re authentic in actions as well as what you say life becomes easier.  I like it when it’s easy for me to work with someone. 

I might disagree with them about something their doing.  Because I’m congruent in what I say I know that my words won’t be taken in the wrong way.  I’ll know that we’ve built trust.  This will allow us to work more quickly and come up with a better answer.  It’s why being authentic is a key to providing great service.

You’ll have more fun and make more money.

When you really connect with your clients you’re going to have more fun.  You’re going to work less hard.  You’re going to be more efficient in how you work.  You’ll even end up making more money and be appreciated more.

These are all things I cherish.  I hope you’ll spend some time thinking about who your best customers are and why.  I hope you’ll then stop working with those that don’t fit.  It’ll make your life better.

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Topics: relationship, Customer Service, customer delight

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