GETTING IT STRAIGHT

Get noticed by being professional please your clients and customers by learning what they want and always delivering it. People have many choices, they can give their business to many companies. So consistently provide what they want or they won’t continue to do business with you. And they definitely won’t recommend you to others.

When sellers court customers, they make many promises. Words are bandied about; expectations are formed as are misconceptions. Misunderstandings can undermine relationships so avoid them by identifying everyone’s expectations as soon as possible. On every project, find out what each of you expects to receive and agrees to give.

Learn what each customer wants. You can’t meet their expectations if you don’t know what they want. When I work with a client, my first questions are, “What do you want and what are your objectives?” When I get answers, I know exactly what I must do and where I must focus. I make a list of everything my client wants and read it to him or her. We clarify anything that isn’t clear and make changes and additions. Then I create a plan that details how I will work with my client to accomplish all his or her goals.

When you’re in the business of serving or supplying others, your primary job is to deliver what they want. However, parties frequently don’t agree on what each of them is supposed to give and receive. Or, as projects progress, the parties lose sight of precisely what was agreed.

So before you begin working on a project, know what’s involved. Clarify everyone’s duties, responsibilities, and expectations. If you’re not sure, ask questions until it’s clear. Set schedules with precise deadlines, specify payment times and amounts, and know exactly what you’re supposed to give and what you are to receive. This knowledge will create the foundation from which you can build a solid working relationship.

Before I agree to work with clients, I conduct interviews with them. At the interviews, we speak at length to clarify exactly what they want and precisely what they expect. Our conversations are full and open and set the tone for the work we will be doing together. They help us learn how to communicate clearly with each other, which helps greatly as projects proceed.

In our conversations, we specifically agree what each expects to get and receive. We identify the outcome that will be provided, set target dates for all the important steps, and define the standards that must be met. Then, we work together to create a viable plan to achieve them.

Owen Morse and Jon Wee are partners in the comedy juggling team The Passing Zone. To make their performances sparkle they make sure that they understand who their clients are and what they need. A month before each performance, they conduct a conference call with the client and ascertain who it is, its needs, who the audience is, what issues and problems that audience may be facing, and what of significance has recently happened with or to them. Then Morse and Wee use that information to customize their performance for that audience.