True or False: Clients are what keep your sign business going.
Did you answer false? If you did you are a smart sign making businessman. If you didn’t, you probably haven’t been reading this small sign business blog for very long.
The truth of the matter is, money is what keeps your business going. Keeping customers happy with your sign making services is a key part of that.
Yes, clients are a source of that money, but that doesn’t mean that you must hold onto them at all costs. Sometimes, it is better for a business to let certain clients go. Here are some instances in which you may consider telling your client no, no matter the cost.
- The client is asking for an unreasonable discount. Remember going grocery shopping with your parents? I sure do. I knew within the first five minutes in the store if I was going to be able to convince my mom to buy all the snacks I wanted. How? If she said no the first time, and the second, I gave up trying. But if she allowed me one treat, I always begged for more. Clients are very much like hungry little kids who want a candy bar. If you give them one, it teaches them to expect one every time. It may even lead them to ask for more from your business. Be careful to not make too many concessions for your clients, even the big ones. You don’t want to give into pressure, showing them they can bully you into a discount. If you wish to grant their request, make sure and get something in return, such as better payment terms. It should be an exchange.
- The client is asking for private information. While it isn’t likely that your customers work in competition with each other, it is possible. If a client pressures you for information regarding one of their competitors the most prudent course is to refuse to tell them anything. Fight the urge to reveal any confidential information; doing so only shows that you cannot be trusted, and damages business relationships all around.
- The client is mean. Sometimes business dealings can become emotionally charged, but there is no place for rudeness in business. If a customer screams, yells, curses, makes lewd comments or makes any of your employees feel uncomfortable, they are damaging your business. Don’t stand for such conduct. Tell the client that such treatment is not permitted, and if they do not change their ways stop having business dealings with them.
- The client breaks the law. Okay, this one is really obvious, right? No one wants to deal with a customer who is shady business. Don’t dirty your hands with clients who are involved in less than honest practices, and never, ever, accept or present a bribe. It’s just not right.
- The client goes back on his word. Well, more formally than his word, let’s make it a written contract. Customers should be held to contracts, unless there is a very good reason for breaking it. If you were to break a contract how would they respond? Both parties must be held responsible for fulfilling their side of a business agreement. If you are in a position to help out a good customer who is asking for your help by modifying a contract, by all means, do so. However, do not be pressured, or demanded to make any changes, and by all means don’t feel you must take a hit for them. If your business is going to lose money, or you cannot reasonably modify the agreement for another reason, don’t feel obligated to do so. Just say no.
Mom saying no at the grocery store taught me I couldn’t have everything I wanted in life. You saying no to your clients is just an extension of a lesson taught by parents everywhere, and more than likely, they’ll respect you for it.