Is Fear Preventing Your Success?
Are you undervaluing your services because you fear that the customer may say no – Saying yes at the expense of profit because you are scared of not securing the order?
Getting the order shouldn’t be the priority at the expense of profit and certainly not when it results in the failure of your business or means that you are a busy fool.
Fear 1. Saying No.
Think of all of the times that you say yes, when you want to say no. When customers ask you to arrive at a time that’s not convenient for you or they expect work to be included that you haven’t charged for. Discounts that mean there’s barely any profit left in the job. A friend or family member asking for free or discounted work or expecting a favour during work time.
Most of these happen because you haven’t had time to step back and think, and it’s only 5 minutes later that it occurs to you that it’s not in your best interests. It makes sense to make a determined decision about these requests.
Decide your standards, policies and parameters for doing business and stick to them.
Fear 2. Taking Deposits.
There is no big professional business that does not take deposits. It is essential for cash flow and you show that you are professional by asking for them. Of course you could take someone to court if you’ve ordered their goods and they cancel but who wants that hassle.
It’s nice to think that people are honourable, and most people are, but it only takes one to wipe out your profit for the month.
Apart from it making sense for you as a business, you do your customer a favour by taking a deposit. It settles their mind and stops them asking themselves unneccesary questions about their choice. It’s settled – job done.
Fear 3. Being Honest.
Your customer asks for a feature that you know will not look right and you quote for what they want. There’s two dangers in this. One, they may get a further quote from someone who is honest, which then makes you look like unprofessional. Two, if they order from you, they will notice when it’s installed and hate it.
Fear 4. Staying true to your price.
We have a discount culture now and most people ask for a discount, which is ok, but some people just want to drive you into the ground. They are often the people who complain the most after installation to get further discounts. Know your parameters and be prepared to walk away if the work doesn’t serve you. While you’re wasting time on unprofitable business, you are potentially missing better business.
Fear 5. Raising prices.
If business isn’t going as well as you’d like, it’s tempting to think it’s about price. It’s not. If you’re busy and part of that is because you’re spending too much time on low value orders, then raise your prices and sell the value.
Fear 6. Asking for the order.
Business people who are not trained as salespeople think that asking for the order is the same as being pushy. It’s not and there are plenty of ways to ask for the order that are very low key. The main thing is to complete a proper consultation so that the close is natural.
Fear 7. Signing orders on the day.
There’s a myth out there that customers like time to think about their order and that you should leave a quote for them to think about. There is absolutely no reason to think like this. If all questions have been settled and they are happy with you, the company, and the product, there should be nothing else other than the price. If that meets their approval, go ahead and ask for the order. If you don’t they will forget about you as soon as they meet a salesperson who does.
Remember that every £100 that is wasted in business requires an extra £300 in turnover to cover it.
Decide Your Standards.
Pro-actively think about the standards that you want for your business and stick to them. Remember that you started your business for you. It’s not a charity.
Time is Money.
Time really is money in business, so stop squandering it on profit sucking activities. Work out what isn’t serving you and cut it out.
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