Probably one of the greatest hindrances to making a sale or increasing your client list is fear; fear of being ripped off, fear of making the wrong decision, fear of getting lousy service after the sale. The two things that fuel that fear are personal experience and news headlines.
Many people have suffered and lots of others have heard bad news reports about bad service, dishonesty or even fraud. For that reason it’s imperative to convey to your prospects that you are an ethical, trusted, and service oriented company.
Typical Case 1:
A few years ago, I tried out a new lawyer based on a full-page ad in the yellow pages and the accreditations listed on his web site. After a couple visits, I decided I was extremely dissatisfied with every aspect of my experience as a client of his, so I decided to use a different lawyer who was recommended to me. Then about a year later, I read an article in the local newspaper about the first lawyer saying that he was sentenced to a prison sentence of five years after pleading guilty to cheating dozens of clients out of thousands of pounds.
Typical Case 2:
The Attorney General’s office is now building a case against a builder with whom I had some significant service-related problems. Seemingly, he has created a long list of unhappy customers over the years and it’s catching up to him. However for the time being, his adverts in the local newspaper keep attracting in new, unwary customers.
Lots of prospects have now read and heard about these two unscrupulous businessmen and unsurprisingly are now very wary of dealing with builders and lawyers without some form of recommendation. That’s the reason you must convey the message that you are a trustworthy, respected and ethical company.
One way to do this is to include a mission statement, and/or a vision statement, on your brochures, press releases, newsletters, web site, and other methods of communication. These statements should deliver a strong emphasis on client satisfaction and customer service.
Creating and sustaining a top reputation for exceptional quality and superb service is the basis for gaining people’s trust and creating valuable word-of-mouth advertising. The more encouraging ways the public hears about you, the more amenable they’ll be to becoming your client, customer, or patient.
What lots of professionals fail to do is to ask for referrals, especially at the moment when their client is at their peak level of enthusiasm. This costs them clients and subsequently income. Each situation is different, and everyone has to be their own judge of what’s fitting. The best times to ask for a referral is when your client has just generously thanked you for the brilliant service you’ve given them.
Alternately give them a few of your business cards and ask them to pass them on to friends, workmates, or family members who might just be looking for the services of a business like yours.