ALWAYS LEAVE ROOM
“Make hay while the sun shines”. In other words, when business is good take on all the work you can get! For most people in the service business as well as for some that sell products, these “busy” times, will, in many cases, fill up our time slots or cause us to sell out of a popular product.
On the surface, this may sound as an ideal scenario. In reality, it may cause us to lose a lot of future business. Let me share a story: two weeks ago I called one of my service providers that I have been using for several years and had provided a substantial amount of work. My request was met with “I’m sorry Nick, but we are booked up for the next 10 days and cannot help you. In this particular case, my client needed me to finish an important project in the next 4 days.
I reached out to my referral base and asked for names of similar service providers. I made contact with a new service provider who was in my office within two hours. We visited and I was impressed with his attitude and desire to gain my business. Three days later my work request was completed in a very professional manner and I told them that they had a new client.
There is a moral to this story. Several days ago my original service provider called me and said that their rush was over and that they had a lot of time to work for me. I told them that they lost me as client but that I would share some valuable parting advice.
- Always know who are your most valuable clients. These are your highest profit margin clients and your repeat clients.
- In good times, which are seldom sustainable in any business, always welcome new clients but save room for a call from a preferred client. Your tried and proved clients are the backbone of your business.
- When you are down to a few openings, take the names of new clients and tell them that they are on a “last minute cancellation” waiting list. It’s far better to have an empty slot than to lose one that has been filling empty slots for a long period of time.
How often have you had to wait to get a repair done or have an air conditioner serviced by your “regular” service provider? Sometimes waiting is not an option and you find a new provider at the expense of the person you have been working with for a number of years.
I know who my best clients are and which clients refer me the most business. When one of my good clients call or a referral is sent by one of these clients, I always have room to accommodate them within a very reasonable period of time.
Don’t forget to appreciate your existing customers! It’s easier to keep a customer than to find a new one.
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