Entrepreneurs have all types of personalities. Some are brilliantly charismatic, some excel at reading people to know how to approach them, some are hopelessly introverted or antisocial, and some entrepreneurs simply don’t know what can be potentially disheartening to people, making it very difficult for them to interact with clients.
That’s where these tips can be helpful—a few of the most common mistakes we make when dealing with new clients.
1. Promising something you’re not sure you can deliver.
When you have a potential sale on the line who will probably buy from you if you meet one condition, the temptation to promise to meet that condition is strong, even if you have no confidence that you’ll actually be able to do it.
You think, “They’ll probably stay with our business, even when they find out we can’t deliver what they need.” Think again.
2. Making them wait for you to return their message.
If you want to see an interested client pull a complete one-eighty, just don’t return their call, or make them wait a full day before sending a response to their question. Not only will the lead most likely slip right through your fingers, but they might be pretty upset, which will usually result in some bad word-of-mouth.
Returning calls and messages promptly is essential to closing new clients. If you don’t have the time, then make sure that you have someone on your team take care of it for you.
3. Treating them in a rude or patronizing manner.
To recognize how off-putting it is when a representative of a company is rude and patronizing, all you have to do is remember when you were on the receiving end of it yourself in your own experiences. The hardest part of this behavior is that you probably don’t realize that you’re doing it.
There is a tendency, when you know your product inside and out, to treat the client as if they’re dumb for not knowing your product, and it’s one of the quickest ways to upset a client. People don’t respond well when someone is talking down to them, so it’s good to try and take notice of it.
4. Giving them an incorrect quote.
Giving a client an incorrect quote could probably be forgiven in most cases, but you might get a real stickler who takes it as an indication of how your business operates and decides to opt-out.
At any rate, it does give people a bad impression, so it’s advisable to take a little extra time and make sure that the dollar amount you quote is as accurate as possible.
5. Trying to sell them a bunch of stuff they don’t need.
Speaking of customer turnoffs—you might want to go easy on the up-sell. You can up-sell them all you want, but just make sure what you’re pushing are things they actually need and not just the latest product or feature.
It comes off as petty and unprofessional when you’re pitching all kinds of promotions that don’t fit their needs, while at the same time causing a considerable amount of fatigue in your client. Instead, take the time to listen to them and find out what you can offer that will actually be of use to them.
Stephanie is the Marketing Director at Talkroute and has been featured in Forbes, Inc, and Entrepreneur as a leading authority on business and telecommunications.
Stephanie is also the chief editor and contributing author for the Talkroute blog helping more than 100k entrepreneurs to start, run, and grow their businesses.