Foolproof Ways to Handle a Client Crisis and Exceed Expectations
There are five critical mistakes you can make that will kill a deal with any client, big or small…new or existing. They are:
- Not meeting the client’s expectations.
- Mishandling a client crisis.
- Taking on more than you can handle.
- Putting all your eggs in one basket.
- “Up cash creek without a paddle.”
Each one or a combination of these can not only kill the client relationship but also have the ability to take down your company as well.
Over our next few blogs, we’ll drill down into each one of these. In this lesson, we’ll cover the first two.
Not Meeting The Client’s Expectations
It’s essential you give your client exactly what you promised during the negotiation portion of your sales cycle. If an event does happen where there is no way to meet the client’s expectations, not only do you have to find a way to fix the situation, but you also have to uncover where it all went wrong.
A couple of matters could have contributed to this problem:
- Bad salesmanship
- This could mean the salesperson was trying too hard to seal the deal and didn’t listen to the client’s needs. We all know this unfortunately happens a lot.
- Lack of communication
- This breakdown occurs between the salesperson and your service operations department. This event occurs more than you think. Inevitably, the sales rep gets blamed by the client and internally, but that is not always fair. Many companies need to improve their onboarding and transition management processes to ensure the new players in client service or the implementation team are up to speed on the client’s primary objectives and ready to properly support the new client even though they were not involved in the sales pursuit discussions like the salesperson was.
In order to avoid these mistakes, you need to put a clear plan of action into place that all of your sales staff needs to follow:
- Think before you speak.
- Give yourself a break.
- Perfect your process.
- Pre-format over-deliverables.
- Stay hands-on throughout the entire process (both internally and externally).
- Define success.
- Don’t vanish once the deal is closed.
Mishandling a Client Crisis
A client crisis will happen, but how you respond and fix it will define your company and set the tone for future interactions with your clients. You need to respond quickly and effectively. This will help you gain even more trust and confidence from your client.
Some simple tips can help you deal with any client crisis:
- Take responsibility and apologize to the client no matter who is at fault.
- Act swiftly and effectively.
- Step in, connect the dots, and take control of the situation.
- Never point fingers or place blame.
- Stay in constant communication with your client.
- Stay calm throughout the situation.
- Keep your eye on the ball.
Now, that you know the top two mistakes you can make to destroy a top-tier client relationship, you’ll know better how to avoid making these mistakes in the first place and know how to put a plan of action into place in case of a crisis.
Next time, we’ll talk about the 3rd and 4th killer mistakes you can make in working with your upper echelon clientele.
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