One of the guiding rules of business is to be positive and put forth a positive feeling in your customers. That philosophy should be reflected in your dealings with your prospects, customers, and clients. Negativity has no place in your daily business and will drag you down mentally, physically, and emotionally. However, there are some observations that we should consider on how not to operate your business.
You must make the experience of your prospect, customer, client, and everyone else to be positive and make them believe that you actually care about them. They should reflect back on any interaction as enjoyable enough that they would refer others to you without a pause or hesitation. The following examples violate this principle.
- - Automated answering services that offer no means of reaching an actual person or leaving a message. If your caller’s inquiry does not fit any of the choices that your service provides, what do they do if they cannot reach a live person or are able to leave a call back request?
- - Businesses whose phones are answered by a centralized service, without any notification to the caller. The caller is left mystified that the attendant does not know what office they are calling or does not recognize name of the company’s representative.
- - Business cards without any means of contact. If you do not provide your name, business name, phone number, email, and web address, are you really in business? If you do not want to provide your physical address, provide a mailing address such as a private mail box.
- - Pricing which seems to the prospect to fluctuate by the day of the week. While this may not be true, if your prospect believes it, you have a creditability problem.
- - Being ignored when you enter a place of business or being required to wait when there are sales associates standing around seemingly engaged is chit chat. A restaurant which makes people wait to be seated when there are vacant tables will lose the patrons who walk out and will never see any referrals.
- - Websites which cannot be accessed without a detailed sign up process including subscribing to a newsletter or frequent emails. Businesses must provide complete information and the ability for the visitor to contact the business without exposing them to an onslaught of sales pitches.
- - Businesses with long, detailed customer agreements resulting in unauthorized upgrades or add-ons which are buried in the fine print. Just tell the prospect what you have to offer, how much it costs, and exactly what they are buying in simple terms without the cloudy restrictions and stipulations.
These are just some of the negative aspects of business that I have seen in the last few weeks. We must strive to make the prospect believe that the initial contact, as well as the total buying experience, is a pleasant one, maybe even fun. The easier that it is to do business with us, or even just get to know us, the more referrals that the prospect will send to us. That is Gratitude Marketing.