Today I want to give you some pointers on how to lose clients. Losing good clients is relatively assured if you follow these simple directions:
1. Avoid regular communication. Make sure that you never let clients know what the status of their case is. Don’t proactively report to them on a regular basis, whether you’re in some kind of holding period or there’s a lot of activity. Clients who are kept informed on a regular basis—even when there’s nothing to report—are always more content and less likely to leave you.
2. Don’t send copies of correspondence or report important conversations. After all, it’s annoying how clients who receive copies of correspondence call you to see if there’s anything they need to do to follow up, even when you tell them that no response is necessary.
3. Be careful not to show you care. Never follow up with clients after an important event, like a big meeting you’ve helped them prepare for, a sudden sharp downturn in the market, or a disaster of some sort in their neighborhood. People who communicate with clients at these times keep them longer and end up getting unsolicited referrals.
4. Don’t buy into the idea of having client relationship management systems. Stay away from systems that would allow you to automate regular periodic contact with clients. These types of systems help clients stay loyal.
5. Don’t answer or return pesky phone calls. If a client should happen to be irritating enough to call you for the status of his case, try not to be available. If he or she leaves a message, be sure not to return the call—or, at least, don’t return it too quickly. If you really feel compelled to return the call, wait at least a week before you do.
6. De-personalize your service and teach your staff to do the same. Make sure your staff is rude and annoyed by constant interruptions to their day due to client calls and visits. Avoid being in the same room with clients if at all possible, and when you have no choice, be as aloof and unconcerned about their issues as you can be. If you prefer, you can be really “salesy” and make them squirm. Clients love to complain about professionals who do these things.
7. When you’re done with the client, move on for good. Make sure you never contact him or her again. Show no concern for former clients whatsoever. Don’t do anything for their birthdays or anniversaries or their children’s birthdays. Don’t even bother to learn when these events are, so you won’t need to try to forget them. This will ensure that if they need more help in the future, or if they come across someone else who could use your services, they won’t be tempted to turn to—or to recommend—you.
If, for some reason, these ideas don’t appeal to you, I can help you turn your clients into fiercely loyal referral partners. Contact me today, and we’ll talk about how. In the meantime, keep REACHING…