Looking for a new company or service isn't easy—especially when you don't have a good referral to start with. But, as life goes, there'll always be a time when you need to call upon an unknown provider with the hope that their company will be able to fulfill your needs.
Having been on the receiving end of some of the most bizarre and downright terrible business practices on a number of occasions, I'm going to help you ensure that your future customers actually become customers by teaching you the number one way to lose a client before you even meet.
Ready for it? Drumroll, please!
And the award for The Worst Introductory Business Practice ever is:
Charging your prospect or freshly scheduled client for having to cancel...
I mean, eeeeeks! Seriously people. If you're doing this (and I seriously hope you're not), the word to describe the intelligence behind your business plan is...well, it's beyond my good manners to even write at this moment.
No wait, here it is in its more refined vernacular: INCONCEIVABLE!
I mean, I get it. Your time's valuable. It takes work to block off your calendar, do your prep work, and/or schedule your employees to get the thing done. Maybe you work at home and have young kids that don't yet understand that they're not dinosaurs and have to schedule a sitter for your remote presentation. Of course, someone else could have easily filled that time gap and had rewarded you with that lump sum you're after..
But talk about A SLAP IN THE FACE to your hopeful client when they get a charge for never even meeting you or your team!
There is literally never an appropriate time or reason to charge a prospective or newly scheduled client for unfilled meetings or services.
If this idea is new to you (or you're having a hard time digesting it), just imagine, if you will, that you're on a blind first date. You're really, really excited about meeting the other person. (Who knows, maybe they'll be your next best-friend-forever-and-for-always and you'll make lots and lots of strikingly good-looking babies together!) But, last second, something comes up—your Grandmother dies and, in the midst of learning the news, you forget about the time—and you accidentally ditch your date. Terribly distraught by the fact, when you go to text your apologies with the hope that your date will meet you the following Friday for a do-over, you find a message from them already in your inbox with a bill for the "Dinner Pour Deux" that they had ordered in anticipation of your arrival.
Future spouse? Not now! Enforcing a cancellation charge on a hopeful or new client? Are you even trying to get work?
And don't get me wrong. A cancellation policy does make a certain level of sense. (Plenty of doctors approve of them. So that must solve that!) I know it's never fun when someone backs out or has to turn the other way when you were expecting them. But if you're serious about growing your business, that cancellation charge is going to cost you a lot more than what you think your time's worth in the long run.
Until then, keep on being a Super Stellar you!
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