Frustrated Business Man.
Some folks tend to believe that business is a fast way to make money. Boy, are they wrong. It takes more than a month, a few close friends and an idea. Everyone has an idea, but it's how you implement the idea that makes all the difference in the world. Family will tend to back you, along with close friends, but they can only do so much. The idea that owning a business only takes a month for you to get rich, is totally not true. Over a short period of time, I have witnessed people and their businesses through the eyes of a consumer as well as a business consultant. The common denominator is that they have no clue about customer service or what their product is or even how to market.
Here are a few examples that I will first give in bettering your business, be it as an author, a network marketer, or whatever line of business you are in as an entrepreneur; proclamations about your representation do's and don'ts .
Always remain calm even when the customer is upset. 1.) Customer Service- No matter what line of work you are in, you will always hear in the back of your mind that the customer is always right. The definition for customer service as stated by the Entrepreneur Encyclopedia is this:
a. Customer Service: The degree of assistance and courtesy granted those who patronize a business (1).
This definition has not been what I have recognized through many fly by night business owners as of late. While we are on it, what is an entrepreneur, a business owner? Any person who sales a product or a service is a business owner, bottom line. If you sale information via a book? You're a business owner. If you do yard work, you are a business owner. The thing is, you have to register with your state to become a legal business. But what I have been noticing with many of these business owners who sale goods or a service have gotten away with a lot not understanding their market or customer service.
Be the business person that stands out in the crowd. 2.) If you take the time to direct someone to an outside link or source, you have missed an opportunity in gaining a client.
a. The clients that I have seen many reaching out to are either in low or middle income communities. 37% of households making Less than 10,000-34.999 (that's 40.9 million households based off of the US Census data) (2), are not concerned with what type of product you have because their focus in on budgeting and maintaining in their day to day life. Once you avoid them like the plague when they approach you with a simple question, sending them to someone else, you have lost that customer. You have ultimately lost any chance in getting them to come back because they will remember that you will send them to something better, more insightful, and probably a bit more forgiving and courteous than you are.
3.) If you act as though, you do not want their business even when they ask you questions, you will not, I REPEAT, you will not get their business.
a. There are some people who refuse to give their potential clients the time of day. They seem to be in a hurry or bothered when a question is asked. This causes the potential sell to go out the door. Spend as much time with the customer as possible if not, you have failed in the service department.
Word of mouth is not only free, it is guaranteed to work. 4.) Treat EVERY person as if they are a potential client. YOUR BEST marketing tool is WORD OF MOUTH.
a. When you treat someone who looks like they do not have money with disrespect, you have essentially failed as a business owner. Every person is a potential client. Though in appearance they do not look up to your standard, they have money to spend and you have something to offer them. They are also watching your first impression as well. With so many secret shoppers out there and investors or angel investors looking to help companies, you never know which one is walking in your door. Do not be so quick to judge.
5.) If someone on your team is horrible, your product, which is you, is still considered horrible. They represent you and what you are about; at least, they are supposed to.
a. If you have someone on your team who cusses on or off the clock, if they lie and gossip about people, if anything about them is not appealing to other people, then you will also not be appealing to other people. The people you hire are an extension of who you are as a person. They can not push your brand out if the majority of the time they are focused on gossip. The people who are listening to all of their woes can possibly be someone to help you out. But as soon as they witness a team member who can not be trusted, they will not take the time to invest in you.
Treat each customer with respect regardless of how they look. Be able to also hear them out. 6.) Be able to take constructive criticism
a. Often times we let our emotions get the best of us. The importance of a customer is that you hear everything they are saying that can be changed about your business. It doesn't mean you need to change everything, but listen. You want to make sure their voice counts. Mainly they wish for someone to just hear them. Set your emotions aside and allow them to, well, vent. They may have had a bad day, no one is listening to them at home, or they don't have many friends. Either way, as a business owner, you do take on a certain role. You aren't a therapist, but you are a human. Allow the human in them to share with you what can be changed about your company.
Join the group of successful entrepreneurs by being the best you possible. 7.) Most of all remember this: Your work is not your product; the outcome of your work is your brand. YOU are the product.
It boils down to who you are as a person. That initial representation that others see is what causes a person to like what you are branding, or not. Change your perspective in thinking of making money because the money will end up being your product. You can't afford to lose customers because of how you treat them and how you place money on a pedestal. If you follow these few rules, you will begin to have less of a struggle, and more of a solid foundation in being the best you that you can be. -Shani Fenderson