Attracting the wrong customers?

wrong customersAre you attracting the wrong kind of customers? The ones who mess you around or disappear when the bill arrives, or perhaps those who think that they are your only customer and use bully tactics? Let’s see what we can do about that.

This morning I walked our Saluki through the estate and had a van pull up in front of me. They wanted to know if we went coursing with him and were asking all sorts of questions on his lineage etc. What could have been a pleasant walk was in essence ruined by these two characters as I spent the rest of the walk looking over my shoulder for that van and wondering if they may come back and try to take him. In retrospect I could have handled it better, but when you are in a strange situation you seldom think logically – thankfully my dog took a dislike to them (ears back, normally wagging tail stopped) and they seemed to take the hint.

So thinking about that now I am reminded of some of the less than savoury ‘customers’ we have had and thought that it was worth sharing a few tips.

  • Have a set of questions that you will ask a prospective customer and use it to decide whether you actually want to take this any further before striking a deal.
  • Before agreeing to work with anyone, be it friend, family member or complete stranger, ensure that they get a copy of your terms and conditions, where you will have outlined what is and is not acceptable behaviour.
  • Have a contract, yes it is great to just work on a handshake but if all goes sideways, you will be happy to have something on paper, documenting what is expected of them as a customer and what you will provide (and perhaps more importantly what you will NOT be providing).
  • Don’t pick up your phone on the first ring unless it is absolutely vital to do so. Sounds dumb right, especially as the caller id is saying who is calling. Picking up on the first ring is not only perhaps making you look a little desperate but also making it seem to the customer that you will drop everything to take their call – thus putting them in a completely different frame of mind over your relationship!
  • Similarly don’t hit return the moment that you see that email/text. Oh I know that many efficiency ‘experts’ will tell you to deal with everything as soon as it arrives, but you have to think what message this is sending. It will also like the phone above give the impression that you are ‘on call’ 24/7 for that business – do you REALLY want to be that person/business?
  • Hardest one so far, don’t be afraid to draw the line and say no. We are all looking for more business, so much so that sometimes we can be blind to what possibly lies ahead – have a system and stick to it, it will pay off in the long run. Sometimes a deal just ‘smells wrong’, as your business progresses you will gain this valuable instinct, but the  short answer is if it seems too good to be true, it usually is!

There are some things in life that cannot be bought at any price; confidence, self esteem, morals etc. Yet these are the most important things that we should be looking for in ourselves and in those we do business with. Remember it is your business, the way that you run it will tell other businesses what is expected of them to deal with you – if they don’t like this, trust me you are better off letting them get back in that truck and drive away..

At Debayne we let you know what you can expect from us and and what we expect of you. We will go through a questionnaire with you and are always open to answer your questions. No hidden agendas, no hidden prices and a reliable service. Sound good? Give us a call today.