Most people in a service business suffer from comments such as these –

‘Oh, you are so expensive, or why do you charge so much, I simply cannot understand it?’

And numerous others…

We have all heard them and we have all gone through the fact we give a better service; our staff are well trained, and we have oodles of experience and and and and – it’s a right royal pain in the butt!

In fact, it’s so much a pain in the butt that we just put the phone down or reply to the emails with –

OK, we are not actually the best fit and unfortunately, we cannot help you at this time – or we go the worst way and say – OK! Here’s our best price (say a 20% discount) and we end up resenting a customer because they beat us up and they will still take up the time we originally quoted but for less profit and we possibly don’t do our best job – ugh!

How do we get over this?

It is never going to be easy and its no good comparing ourselves to other professionals like Lawyers or Accountants or even Doctors – we are not the same, we are different, we add value to peoples lives in a different way and we need to be able to explain that in plain language.

One great way if you have an established business is to point them to a testimonials page on your website that has genuine testimonials and case studies devoted to them – and no, I am not talking about your mates in the same business waxing lyrically in order to help you get business!

I am talking about GENUINE customers who have paid full price, are still in business and who can confirm they are a satisfied customer of yours if your prospect decides to call them. (it happens, believe me).

We can have a pre on boarding statement of what we provide, what the client desires – even down to the coffee they like or similar – I know it sounds a bit weird – Why would I need to know what coffee they like? – well, in the case of a Chauffeur company picking up clients from a long haul flight – its an important thing to know – imagine being greeted with your fave drink and having your bags carried too. You’d certainly appreciate it and tell your friends that you received great service!

In any service business, it is best to get to know your client as well as you can before you quote, do a discovery call, try and make it face to face over a zoom chat – that way, you kind of get to look each other in the eye – after all, would you spend $$$$$ if you didn’t feel that you knew who you are dealing with? Why do you think we sometimes leave a big tip – its not that the service was particularly good – it’s because we liked who looked after us and how they went about it

In this world of inter-connectivity, we need to rethink how to connect with our customers.

Most service businesses are small, one man/woman and a couple of helpers. Imagine, what would happen if you became the friend that your customers never had, the one that is always there, ready and waiting to help make things better for them – if you don’t know them from day one – you will not be in a position to help them – will you.

So, ask them a question or two before they get a price from you – no matter what business you are in, there is no harm in getting to know your customer as well as you can.

Its what big companies do with Big Data to form an idea of their demographic – their ideal customer – there is no reason not to use similar techniques but in a more approachable and transparent way. More over, your client can also get to know the best version of you!

Feel free to comment as always – and tell me how you get to know your customer even before you have done some work for them.

*This post was inspired by a linkedin comment made here

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Andrew Palmer
Andrew is the founder of Elegant Marketplace.