This week I was disappointed when I contacted someone and didn’t get any response from them. My email requested a response from them, and it was about something important to me.
The logical part of me can create all sorts of rationalizations:
- They are busy and probably focused on the latest “fire” instead of looking ahead.
- Maybe they didn’t get my email.
- I’m sure I’ll hear from them today.
The emotional part of me feels hurt, disappointed, and dismayed because I wasn’t even acknowledged. For me, hearing “no” would have been easier to accept than hearing nothing.
People buy with their emotions. It doesn’t matter if it’s a widget or a service. It doesn’t matter if it’s business or personal. People buy from their emotions, and you have to remember that to succeed in business.
Your clients might react to you in the same way I did this week. Left to wonder why they haven’t heard from you, they will start to distance themselves from you. Distance in a business relationship creates separation that ultimately leads to no business. Your clients will be less inclined to continue doing business with you if you aren’t attentive or responsive.
It’s even more detrimental when you delay contacting prospective clients. You haven’t yet established a relationship with them so why should they trust you’ll deliver your services or products when you said you would? The quick answer is that they won’t trust you. If they don’t trust you, you’ll never develop a relationship that leads to sales and success.
What is your company’s policy on client responsiveness? Do you have any standards? Do you measure employee behavior to know if your business meets its standards?
Until this week, I didn’t think I really needed a standard or policy. After all, I take care of my client contacts. I return calls and send emails. Until this week, I hadn’t really thought about “when” I take care of those requests.
Until this week, I had listened to other service providers talk about having standards. For example, Alan Weiss returns all phone calls within 90 minutes. A millionaire consultant returns all calls within 90 minutes. That’s impressive!
Now I’m setting standards for my company. Phone and email standards are being included in my business processes.
Are you responsive to your clients? How do you respond? More importantly, when do you respond?