How to lose a customer in only 3 months
Author: J. Guillen.
In three months you can lose as many customers as you had generated over the last 1 -2 years.
Generally, in our activity, architecture, and construction, there are several highly creative ways to lose a client, or many, a
business or even credibility.
We always walk on a thin tightrope like a juggler; I have always preferred to dance to the rhythm of Swan Lake, with a tutu and all set!
You will never know if you lose the business or customer first; I think Both happen simultaneously and in the best Tchaikovsky style, right on the main scene!
Clients are lost for obvious issues, such as an amusement park-level execution, a tasteless or bitter project, or never- ending intellectual disagreements.
But they are also lost in not-so-obvious aspects, such as trust, faith, and interest, and just Like a love story, it ends, and we are left empty, just waiting for the final scene so that the movie ends quickly.
Life has taken me to many places in this country and allowed me to meet many people to understand that sales are not just about money and projects. Still, it is an exchange of value and service, and although this has gone out of style - construction engineering - I still have the conviction that we can all do it better and systematically.
I am here, but I am absent ( I am here, but I am not ! ), and it is easy to discover it when we do not answer the phone, messages, or e-mails; yes, I am the owner of my time and agenda, but also of a running business (company or organization) and, therefore, I must allow efficient communication with customers. Therefore, let us be honest with ourselves, as honesty saves time. Saying YES when we want to say NO commits us to do things we do not wish or cannot do, generating an atomic deformity in the business relationship.
Wanting many projects and not being capable of receiving them, not only in matters of education and knowledge, but in the simple practice of watching, recognizing, and adjusting the sails, ambition without a vision is not enough. The ship does not sink because of storms or big waves but because of the small holes inside the hull.
"Ahorita": in Costa Rica, that word means many things, and at the same time, it means nothing. I believe working with an agenda and a plan is much better; working by inspiration and senses is entertaining, but not so much at the end, when you have to unnecessarily work more than needed, as this is reflected in budget or costs. Hence, does Ahorita = costs? Quoting numbers in the air can be extremely comfortable and appropriate for making a sale; only the experts of experts do it. But this is like crossing yourself before entering a soccer game; God is not paying attention to winners or losers. Therefore, gentlemen, mathematics, science, and statistics are a profession, a commercial activity; let us use little abacuses and calculators (old school) and know that we are not gladiators in an arena; we must not enter to kill; it is what it is.
Those little details, which generally are not written down, scheduled, or executed, are like the details we have failed to give to our partner on Valentine's Day, their birthday, or a famous anniversary. They gradually degrade the relationship, and everything becomes colder and meaningless. In my case, I keep an agenda, which seems more like a poetry book than something to work with, because, in the end, those emotions manage, guide, and inspire us to keep mo
"Negociaciones de polaco”, In Costa Rica, "Pagos de polaco" means to chop the numbers to infinity (break the budget) or to have a payable account active (risk money control). If we fall into this practice, we will spend more time on senseless matters rather than focusing on the project's objective. It would be like going to a dentist and telling him he will be paid for each tooth he pulls out on the spot. If so, he will not use enough anesthesia and will not be very gentle with the pliers. I trust that both professionals or commercial organizations are as equally professional as the customers who contact us, thus, all at the same level. We can firmly shake hands.
"Pasarse la bola," In Costa Rica, is the name given to remarkably busy organizations. It usually passes a client's case between departments until it disappears, gets lost, or remains limbo. In the end, the information that reaches the person doing the work is corrupted and distorted, and we usually do not notice it until the client looks at us attentively with a subtle smile. Customer service is fundamental in any business we undertake, and to avoid falling into the famous "chatbots" that are only for millennials.
Creating products or services to feed my portfolio, in the case of architecture, is a big Ahhhh...! Our designs are not to figure in a portfolio and to win a Pritzker Prize, nor are we interested in using them as golden idols with horns against the competition. Our service should be directed to the client and their needs. Environmental issues, why not? Without overdoing an eco-friendly cult, with an ideal economic responsibility, a big YES, without sacrificing beauty and comfort balance, is enough. No more. No less.
Friendship and Relationship. Although not all of us are psychologists, we must discern between a sincere friendship and a business relationship. Both scenarios can fall victim to misguided trust. For example, I would not build my friend ́s house or design my partner's home to avoid problems, and I am happier. In this case, defining the limits and defining what is most convenient is especially important for the organization's destiny.
Finally, I believe that the projects, products, and services that we offer to our clients must go through 3 filters daily: devotion, focus, and planning, because all those minutes gone by will not come back, and time is our best judgment. Our character is more important than our career. That is the great secret I have learned from grandmaster builders and masons and my good competition, whom I admire very much.
Thank you very much
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