When it comes to owning your very own small business, talking to your clients can be very much like talking to former employer(s). While on the job/clock or under contract there are certain things you should never say to a client. Believe me, if you say any of the phrases off my “Things to Never Tell a Client” list you might as well kiss your contract goodbye.
1. I can’t meet with you then because I have a hair/nail appointment. Yes, I’ve heard it done. There’s nothing like hearing this to tell your client that they are clearly not your priority. Is it alright for you to have a hair/nail appointment during the day? Yes, absolutely. YOU are the boss now. But don’t tell your client that’s why your calendar is already booked.
2. I’m soooo hungover. What would your former employer say/do if you arrived at work completely hungover? Send you home for an unpaid day of recovery and self-loathing? Clients won’t do that. Instead, they will sit there and stew over the fact that you are probably slumped over your desk, billing their account for work time while obviously not at your highest performance level.
Do I want you working for me if you’re the type to go to work hungover? Hell no! And you better believe I’m not the only one who feels this way!
3. My computer crashed and I lost all my files/emails. Come on, people! If you’re not bright enough to store your files in the Cloud and use an IMAP email server then I’m not sure you’re bright enough to land any of the projects I’m competing against you for. We’re well into the 21st Century, and just as the days of “My dog ate my homework” have passed, so have the days of “My computer crashed.”
4. I haven’t had the opportunity to… (look at the file you sent me three weeks ago)… Nope, that’s pretty pitiful. If it takes you three weeks to take a look at a client’s file, I guarantee it will only take three minutes to replace you.
5. (Crunch, crunch, crunch) – Do I REALLY need to tell you NOT to eat in your client’s ear during a phone call? It doesn’t matter if you’re not talking, if you’re eating popcorn the crunch, crunch, crunch can still be heard on the other end of the line. Do your clients a favor – if you need to get a meal in during your phone call make it a smoothie or something the other person doesn’t need to hear you chewing.
Kim Sutton is the Managing Partner and Chief Everything Officer of The Sutton Companies, including Sutton Strategic Solutions and Sutton Creative Studios. She is a graduate of The School of the Art Institute of Chicago where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Interior Architecture.
An avid reader and passionate learner, Kim is constantly researching, studying and developing business improvement strategies. When it comes to client work, Kim especially enjoys helping her clients develop innovative marketing strategies and sales funnels, particularly when they are using Infusionsoft to automate all the heavy lifting. To find out how you can further develop your company’s marketing and automation strategies schedule a 1-hour Business Boost Strategy Session by clicking here.
In her free-time, Kim cherishes the time she gets to spend with her husband, Dave (her business partner), and five children. She also enjoys reading, knitting, writing and playing video games.
Get a copy of Kim’s FREE guide, “10 Top Tools for Small Businesses” by clicking here.