Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Response Time is Important But Patience is Essential

Making a million dollars in your business requires that you sell a million dollar’s worth of product/services. How do you do that? By offering a million dollar’s worth of value to your customers. One of the best ways to offer a million dollar’s worth of value to your customers is by being extremely responsive, so responsive that they hear from you before they thought they would, they receive your products before the quoted mailing time and they feel, as your customer or potential customer, that you are always on their mind. Whether a customer/client is paying $1.85 for a grande coffee or $155.00/mo for an Equinox Fitness Club Membership, they want to feel like they are your number one priority and successful businesspeople understand this.

Response Time is Important.
#1) Return emails as quickly as possible. I love my Blackberry because it allows me to get emails instantaneously. I’m able to respond back to clients, even if it’s to say, “It’s going to take me some time to get back to you on this issue but I’ll email you in detail by the end of the day.” That response given back within minutes of the email being received goes a long way with a client.

#2) Keep your websites updated, especially your blogs. There’s nothing worse than jumping on to your site and seeing that you haven’t written anything in months. Even if it’s just to say “Business is changing. Stay tuned!”, keep your sites updated.

#3) Deal with customer complaints, questions and concerns IMMEDIATELY. This is not optional. Whenever there is a question about your service, a complaint about your product or an objection to overcome, handle that IMMEDIATELY. Waiting a few hours can, in some instances, kill a deal.

#4) If you’re going to communicate, have something to say and say it well. Your words are powerful. Fast response times are great when you’re using the right words but fast response times with incomplete or inappropriate responses are nothing to be proud of. You have to be at the top of your game always WHILE providing fast response turnaround times.

Response time is very important. It’s critical to respond appropriately in as little time as possible but here’s the flip side: you, as the business owner, have it as your responsibility, to respond as quickly and effectively as possible. After all, if you’re making a million dollars a year, you’re charging $500 an hour. As a customer, if I’m paying $500/hour, I expect to be responded to quickly. However, you cannot expect your customers to jump to buy or purchase from you, especially if you haven’t laid the ground work of establishing report and building relationships.

Too many entrepreneurs expect people to buy from them at astronomical rates in very little time because their products are good. That’s not the way this thing works. Successful businesspeople know that the first and last thing you do to experience sustainable maximum profitability, is BUILD RELATIONSHIPS. That’s the secret! There’s no other secret but that and building relationships takes time AND patience. So, while you’ve got very little time to get back to your clients/customers, your clients and customers can take their time getting back to you and can take their time buying and you have to have the patience and persistence to keep building the relationship even though, at the moment, it’s not reaping you immediate profitability.

That’s why it’s so important to have multiple streams of revenue. Depending on one product line or a select group of clients to provide your overall income is a disaster in the making. Pressure fills you because if you don’t close them or that deal, you don’t eat. Now, if you have money coming from all directions, as you build your relationships with these clients, you can be patient and enjoy the client building relationship process. You can flow with life in joy and ease and without the added stress of NEEDING to close the deal.

So, the bottom line is this: Your response time, as the business owner, is crucial and should be as fast and effective as possible the FIRST and LAST time but PATIENCE is required, on your part, as you build and sustain customer relationships. Sounds like a double edged sword but it’s actually a well choreographed tango.

1 comment:

Coach said...

Great stuff! I whole-hesrtedly agree. Building relationships is key to successful returns. I am also a strong advocate of multiple income streams.