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Thursday, 20 September 2012 16:17

Are you repelling business?

Recently, I jumped onto Fiverr.com for the first time. I needed to get some ideas together for a new client who wants to rebrand his business.

 

If you haven’t used Fiverr.com before, it’s a great place to look when you need quick and simple jobs done.

 

Anyway, to cut a long story short, I found a great designer who put together a couple of concepts for me. But when I asked her how much she would charge to do the vector images (vector images are logos or graphics that can be manipulated and resized without affecting the image quality), she replied that her package only included Photoshop files, and that was that.

 

Perhaps she misread my message or she just lacked the software to do vector images – I don’t know. But I was disappointed and couldn’t help but wonder how much income she could be missing out on by (a) not reading her messages properly or (b) by not leveraging her discounted service to earn more money.

 

So, my question for you is: are you repelling business by being too rigid in what you offer or by not listening to potential clients? If so, you are missing out on business.

 

As people who work from home for ourselves, repelling potential clients is not something any of us want to do.

 

So, here are a few questions to help you take a deeper look at how you're communicating with potential clients:

 

1. How rigid is your product or service?

 

If you have flexibility in terms of customising your service or product for potential clients, do they know this from the information you give them on your website or Facebook page?

 

I don't mean flexibility on price. Never let a customer talk you down on price.

 

If that happens, they don't value you or your product and will always wait till you drop your prices.

 

I just mean in terms of how you tailor your product/service to your clients.

 

2. Are you listening?

 

Are you reading your inquiry and customer service emails thoroughly? Are you picking up the phone to clarify things with customers and potential clients? Are you reading and responding to their posts on social media?

 

The personal touch is important, but so is really homing in on your clients' issues or needs. If you’re ambivalent, it will show.

 

Customers can always tell when the person on the other end of the phone doesn’t care about them.

 

3. If you met yourself as a businessperson at an event, would you want to talk to yourself?

 

Sometimes the problem is not that you're being too ambivalent, it's that you're being too pushy.

 

Pushy people just won’t leave you alone. They can’t help but pitch something to you at any given opportunity. It’s all about them and it shows.

 

Pushy people look at every connection and every conversation as an opportunity to manipulate the discussion so that they can talk about their stuff, or worse, put you on the spot in public so that you have to say “no” in public.

 

Be clear about what you do and what you offer and focus on helping and serving others and your right clients will love you. But, if it's all about you, whether that be on social media or in person, they might just walk the other way.

 

I would love to hear your answers to these questions. Feel free to share them with me on the Support a WAHP Facebook page or on Twitter @supportawahp.

 

You never know, your answers may help someone else and attract them to your business at the same time.

Cas McCullough is passionate about empowering other solo entrepreneurs to drop the sales pitch and harness powerful inbound marketing through her Content Marketing Cardiology blog.


Cas is the author of Diving In: Practical Tips for Starting Up and Growing Your Home Based Business. She is also the founder of home-based businesses Mumatopia and Support a Work At Home Person, an 11,000-strong social networking community supporting people who work from home. Follow her on Twitter @supportawahp.


Comments (1)

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I think it can also come down to the client simply undervaluing one area of your service and overvaluing another. You say you found a "great" designer, but what aspect of her service convinced you of this prior to her even completing your commission? Was she quick? Was she cheap as chips? Did she happen to render the style of design that you happened to like? None of these virtues equate with "great". I've exited the design service sector in the last 12 months with a great sense of relief, simply because over 20 years of design, most clients were expecting all of the above, and not appreciating that there is more to the design process than being quick and cheap. The designers who are quick and cheap above all else are the ones who ultimately disappoint, but more to the point, they're also the ones fostering expectations among future clients that will only serve to erode their job security as they try to stand out from the crowd by promoting the more important aspects of their design service that no one really gives two hoots about any more.
Moss , September 20, 2012
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