The importance of the first impression: 6 typical ways to scare away your customers.
Do you want your potential customers to flee in terror at the first contact? Surely not.
You already know that the first impression is usually irreversible: if we do not do it well, we will not have a second chance. That is why it is so useful to analyze “bad practices”. In Freelance platform, have compiled 6 typical ways to cause a bad impression from the start.
Take note not to repeat these common mistakes:
1. Too busy to explain your work
If you are a good professional and you have a bit of luck, it is possible that you are overflowing with work, and that you do not have enough time to attend to people who are interested in your services.
As a result, you may not dedicate the time and attention that they expect to new potential customers. Typical examples:
– You do not find a space in your agenda to attend to them and you are postponing the meeting
– you keep only a brief conversation on the phone with them
– you just give them short answers and do not extend yourself in your explanations
– you leave them with the question in your mouth because you have to do other things
These attitudes tend to make your potential customers go to another professional. Something you can regret later. In part, they do not lack a reason: if you do not give them the necessary attention at the first appointment, what can you say that later, when you hire your services, you will not keep them in the background? Because although they are aware that you have other clients, they would like to be taken care of as if they were the only ones …
If you think about it, it is normal that before hiring your services -investing your money- clients want to know well about your work: how you do it, your references, etc. Even to be a bit heavy.
Fortunately, this is an effort that you will only have to do at the beginning. Then it will be your job that speaks for you.
2. Response time too slow
What seems to you an adequate response time, may not be for your client. You organize yourself keeping in mind all the things you have to do, and that’s why it seems reasonable to you. But your client does not know or care about your workload, or your way of organizing. He wants an answer as soon as possible.
So if you take too long to respond, or to submit a budget, the most normal thing is for the client to look for another provider.
Therefore, you should try to answer calls and emails in less than 24 hours. That quick response is like a sign of confidence for the prospective client: it makes him see that the attention is good, and that the level of professionalism is high.
The most useful thing is to reserve a part of the day, for example one hour, to answer all the calls and messages. In this way you will avoid accumulation, you will have everything in order and you will be able to leave all your customers satisfied.
If true. The most important thing is the work you do and, unless you are a translator, writer, copywriter or editor, the spelling mistakes and the style of expression are secondary elements …
But remember that first impressions are irreversible. If you send an email to a potential client -for example, with a budget- and it is full of spelling mistakes, it is easy for you to perceive you as a sloppy and unserious professional.
It’s a really silly way to scare away your potential customers. It is enough that you use a spell checker and, above all, that you review those first releases to make sure they are correct and understand each other perfectly.
4. Fresh out of the cave
The fact of working from home has many advantages. But it also has some small drawback: for example, the risk of a “cave effect” occurring. That is, you end up so focused on your solitary work – in contact only with your clients, and almost all the time through the Internet or the telephone – that you are moving away from social customs.
The “cave effect” can make you one day meet with a potential client and present yourself, for example, with a three-day beard, disheveled or disheveled, and dressed in old pants with holes. Does this influence your work? Absolutely. But you already know that the client does not have to understand it like this … Someone who has not worked with you yet may think that you have become half crazy, and that you work in a kind of cave totally away from social life.
So, before you “go out into the outside world,” think a little about the image you see from the outside. After all, it is very likely that your potential clients move in a traditional work environment.
Eye. This does not mean that you have to disguise yourself as what you are not: it is usually strange and unnatural. And, besides, you did not become freelance for this!
5. No answers
Keep a conversation with a potential client and have no answer to the typical questions – how do you work ?, how do you deliver ?, what is the best way to communicate ?, etc. – is a silly way to waste your time and your opportunities The client will think, instantly, that you have no experience, or that you do not have the necessary resources to solve your problems. In short, you will be like a beginner, who does not know what he is facing.
Having the right answer is the best way to convey confidence. That’s why you have to know your business very well. Prepare a list of the key issues that usually arise in all projects, and build a response based on your experience. You can convert this information into procedures for your work and your relationship with your clients, in a kind of argument.
In this way, you will have the answer for most of the questions that you will be asked. If, in spite of everything, they raise a new question, nothing happens: write it down to solve it later and incorporate it into your knowledge.
6. I do not know how much I have to charge
This is always a complicated matter:
– If the client feels that you are above the market, it is most likely that you look for another provider.
– On the other hand, if you ask too little, the first impression can be pathetic: a professional who does not value himself well is suspicious. And if the client accepts anyway, you may have done a bad business by opting for such a low rate.
– If you hesitate to set a price, the client may think that you have no experience, that you do not know how much your work is worth, and you can also understand that you are open to a negotiation in the price – bargaining.
The answer is not simple. But what always helps is to show security, and argue well your price proposal. Try to detail your budget to the maximum, taking into account all the variables involved.
This will make your client value your professionalism and place your trust in your way of working.
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