I received a question from a prospect client through my website’s contact form in which the person asked me about what kind of services Intel Boutique offered. I’ve never been bothered about going into great depth about explaining the services I provide through IB. In fact, it’s an opportunity to shine. This is the opening that allows me to showcase with more elaborate descriptives about what my business does, what it focuses on and who I’ve worked with in the past. But this short note I received, maybe a day or two ago, struck me as odd. In order for anyone to send a request to be contacted for further information, they would have to bypass all the other tabs that explains what those services are to ask me what services are offered.
Theoretically, regardless of how a question is posed or what is asked, once I’ve been contacted by someone interested in my services, I should just answer. But in answering a question someone could have answered themselves, I feel as if I would be over-catering.
In the early, early days of business, I would rush to answer every question a client had and try to appease all their concerns. I was basically begging for their business. But that feeling of being interrogated by people who weren’t even guaranteed to use my services started to turn into resentment. I resented having to answer all these questions only to learn, I didn’t offer what they were looking for. But the truth of the fact was, I really resented myself for not taking better control of the dialogue and not asking some (or not enough) questions of my own. Just because I was the one being potentially paid didn’t mean I had to keep my trap shut. I needed to do some probing too. See what my clients were looking for, what were their needs were, and where they were coming from. Given enough time and practice, I learned when to ask the right questions and when not to offer up so much unnecessary information until there’s a green light.
And I’ve think we’ve all done that before at some point. Either being too eager to please or too excited to win them over, that we’ve let the clients take the reins of the conversation, or of the negotiations –and God forbid — even the transactions. It’s not about trying to dominate over your clients or impress them with the tricks of the trade you’ve learned over the years. It’s about not being a passenger in your business; being in as much control as the situation requires. Put yourself in the client’s shoes — would you want to do business with a push-over?