“What do you do about super nice clients that have unrealistic expectations, who can’t hear you say ‘that’s not technically doable’?”
This is a common problem shared by many business professionals, especially for entrepreneurs and small business owners who are service providers.
Most of us are eager to please our customers and clients, but we must always be careful not to give them unrealistic expectations. An explanation to the client could go something like this:
“If what’s your asking for were indeed possible, I would do it for you in a heartbeat, but unfortunately we can’t technically do what you’re asking. However, we can come pretty close to your request by doing__________.”
My recommended answer is to come as close as you can to the client’s request, without overpromising beyond capabilities. If what the client is asking for is in fact possible, but beyond the negotiated scope of defined services, it’s important to develop and communicate a new expectation together at this juncture if costs, delivery times or other factors will change.
Honest realism that shows a concerted effort to please your client has to be the attitude of choice in these situations. Hopefully, the client can then indeed see the desire to continue great service support and customer service within actual capabilities and fair parameters, without damaging the relationship.
In the end, relationships with customers and clients are always a key factor with any successful business. In my latest book, The Evolution of an Entrepreneur, I share one of my favorite “Tips for Surviving and Thriving in Business” that I’ve developed:
The three R’s of business success are
Relationships, Results, and Rewards.
Business starts with a Relationship. Build upon and develop that relationship first. You are then judged by the Results of what you are selling or providing, the speed of your follow-through, your availability, customer service skills, and so on. Rewards spring from the desired Results your customers hopefully received. Rewards can be generated for years to come if you can maintain their satisfaction with the Relationship and Results!
This post has been part of the “Ask Jack” blog series. To submit a business or start-up question you’d like to have answered by Jack Nadel, visit the Contact Jack page and submit your question through the contact form, or visit Jack’s Facebook fan page and leave a comment with your question.