Keeping a Good Attitude
Being in business it is especially important to keep a good attitude with the clients because the clients are the ones supporting our business. When we choose to have negative attitudes towards our clients, it degrades our character and hurts our business. Clients can tell if we harbor ill-will towards them.
When we think or believe the worst about a client, we stir up negative karma between us and the client. Then we bring the negative causality on ourselves. Our fear becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
In working with clients, it is easy to bring out the worst in us. If the client asks us to do something differently, or if they ask for a lower price, this can trigger some negative or angry feelings about the client. This is why it is so important to be honest with ourselves about ourselves. We all have faults and weaknesses. Do we want others to be thinking or speaking about us in the same negative way that we something do about the clients?
Our own attitude greatly affects the attitude and response of the clients. If our attitude is somewhat negative (although we may think we have a good attitude), it can change a normal question into a seemingly negative negative.
Every relationship has a turning point, which direction will it take. Will there be negative interactions, or will it be pleasant and helpful. The turning point is usually right at the outset. For instance, if a client asks for a discount, our attitude about the question and response to the question will set the tone for the rest of the interaction. For instance:
If we think of clients (who ask for discounts) as cheap chiselers, then when a client asks for a discount, it is very easy to think or to respond negatively. Then, as we encounter more clients who want it cheaper, our negative attitude begins to build towards "those cheap clients". Even if we don't say anything negative to the client, they will inwardly sense it, even it they don't immediately recognize it. The result, at the very least, could be just having them "not connect" with us as their potential upholsterer.
Correcting our attitudes: I would think that we all experience pain and negative thoughts. It's what we do with it the determines our attitudes, behaviors and actions. Here is an excellant article: Seven Major Ways We Lose Force. We bring negative customers to us when we complain about our clients. We damage relations with current and potential clients when we complain or think negatively about any clients.
Pride is a very subtle and very damaging trait. Using pride we blind we blind ourselves to how we actually are and makes us think that we are in the right in most or in all situations.
Monitor Our Own Attitude
In every interaction, Keep track of our own attitudes. It doesn't matter whether the client was wrong, or if they acted bad, we need to manage our own attitude. If we responded incorrectly, take time to correct it. You can say things like, "That is not what I meant to say. What I meant was ....". We don't have to berate ourselves (unless we really deserve it*), but just correct our inappropriate response and go on.
When we let ourselves think badly or act incorrectly to a client (and don't correct ourselves), it becomes easier to think or act poorly with the next client. We are creatures of habit. The more we do something, the better we get at it and the easier it becomes. (Yes, we can get better at being crabby to clients, and that is not a good thing.)
The trouble with "venting" or complaining to our friends or collegues, is that it builds up our sense of being a victim. It also builds up our pride, "I'm better than this. I don't deserve to be treated like this." Over a period of time this leads to damaging our business and personal relationships.
*One problem with berating ourselves is it make us (temporarily) feel bad, but it does nothing to help us change our thinking and our behaving.
It is very tempting to berate clients. It makes us feel justified for our behavior. But the result is that this speaking ill of our clients (whether it is seemingly justified or not) negatively changes who we are. The result is often very subtle, but the outcome is that many clients will sense something isn't quite right, and so they leave without making a decision.
However, when we focus on ourselves (examining and correcting our own faults, and looking for what we did wrong in any situation) correct our thinking and behavior, then clients feel more at peace around us. They are more attracted to us, not because of anything we are doing to "be attractive", but just because we are more pleasant to be around. As we talk to them about the posibility of us recovering their furniture, we don't try to make them do anything. We don't judge them, but accept them as they are.
When they ask for a discount
When they ask for a discount, or for something extra, we keep calm. We don't judge them, but we honor and respect them and their request. There is no reason for us to take offense at their question, but we can even honor that question. That doesn't mean that we have to agree to their request. (If we so choose to agree, without feeling any anger, that is fine.) We can keep calm, and honor them, and at the same time we can gently tell them again what the price is and what it includes. If they want a cheaper prices, then we can take away some of the things that we are offering in our price. We simply show and tell them that when they want to pay less, they will get less.
When we come to a peace with ourselves about what we will or will not do, then we don't have to make the client out to be the bad guy.
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