Clients have options. It’s one of the most wonderful things about our business environment; however, it can also pose a challenge to those of us providing professional services. When clients have choices in service providers who are perceived to be relatively comparable in quality and price, how do you make them choose you over your competition?
Well, you really can’t make them do anything, but there are some ways to stand out and improve your chances of becoming the preferred professional services provider.
- Provide more value by listening & going the extra mile – This doesn’t mean giving away services for free! It involves being in tune with your clients’ needs and finding some way to offer something of value beyond what they’re paying you for. It can be as simple and cost-free as sharing a link to an article with information to help them overcome a specific business challenge. The point is to do something for them that you wouldn’t have to do.
- If you mess up, make it right – Nobody’s perfect. We all wish we could be, but that’s hardly realistic. If you make a mistake, accept responsibility, apologize and find a way to make it up to your client. An acceptable resolution will look different to different clients so be sure you’re proposing what will resonate most with them: a discounted rate, free future services, re-do of what you just did, gift card for good will, etc. I believe most clients recognize and accept the imperfect “human factor” in who they do business with. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t strive to deliver excellence, but when you fall a little short, your client will likely understand – and maybe even feel a greater affinity for doing business with you if you make it right.
- Be present, even when they’re not doing business with you – Thank you social media for making it possible to interact with our clients in a non-invasive, non-intrusive way! “Like” your clients’ business Facebook pages, follow them on Twitter, connect with them on LinkedIn, circle them on Google+, and subscribe to their blogs. And do your best to demonstrate your support of their endeavors by commenting on and sharing their posts. Always take the opportunity to show them that you care beyond the last business transaction.
How do you make your business a stand out? What makes clients want to do business with you more than your competition?
No time or talent in-house for your marketing and public relations writing projects? I can help! Call me at 717.435.3559 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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