When Following Up Hurts You And Your Customer

By: MarkSilver
Your customer just enjoyed the heck out of your product or service. Now, it's a week later and you want to follow up- is it still working? Are they still getting value?

A Heart of Money participant asked this question recently: "How do I follow up with someone like that? I'm worried that they'll think I'm pressuring them to spend more money with me."

Sound familiar? Part of the problem is that she actually did have mixed intentions. She had an intention to honestly follow-up with the person to know how they were doing (her customer had just had surgery, and her service was related to supporting the recovery process).

But, she really did want more business, too.

Mixed intentions were the problem.

You want to help people, and you want more business. Of COURSE your intentions are mixed. Unfortunately, if you separate the intentions, when they are both alive in you, each one will just trip up the other, with neither intention coming to fruition.

Intention one: "I want to help."
Intention two: "I want more business."

Result: "I can't help selflessly if I want more business. I can't get more business when they are in such a vulnerable state." No follow-up. And no more business.

Lose-lose.

The real problem: Mixing intentions, instead of integrating them

The problem for the participant, and many others in the class who shared the same concern, is that she was seeing only two options: either mix the intentions or separate them. And neither worked.

If you mix your intentions, you are trying to accomplish two different things at the same time, and it's bound to be confusing for you and your customer. Yet, separating your intentions is actually a falsehood, because both intentions are present, just one ends up being silent. And, the silent intention can end up feeling quite loud indeed, and bring a feeling of falseness to your interactions.

There is a third option: Integrating your intentions.

Integration is the only clean way through. You are in business to help your customers. The more help they get, the better you do.

The trouble isn't that you are selling too hard. The problem may be that you aren't selling them enough. That out of fear of disturbing your customers, or seeming "pushy," you are only offering partial solutions, and so your customer is only partially satisfied, and you end up being paid only a part of what you could have been paid.

But, you aren't to blame. This is a natural result of 'transactional' thinking, where you are selling your services or products for money.

Stop thinking of yourself in transaction, and start putting yourself on your customer's side. They'll buy more, and be happier about it, and you will, too.

Keys to Integrating Intentions

Stand next to your customer, not across from them.

Most of us face our customers- meaning we're looking at our customer and our customer is looking at us. What I suggest you do differently is to stand *next to* your customer, so instead of seeing each other, you see what they see. You keep in mind what it is they want, and where they want to get to, results-wise.

"Oh... from here I can see that my customer is looking to not only recover quickly from surgery, but actually wants to stop the pattern that caused her to go into surgery in the first place. That's a big goal, and well worth it!"

Use your expertise.

Listen, you're the expert. Use your knowledge and experience of your area of expertise to figure out- what the heck WILL it take to get the customer where they want to go.

"Hmm... that'll take a lot more than just a few sessions. I can see a whole program that will walk her through, that includes even more than what I'm currently offering. Hey, business expansion!"

Be honest.

What will it really take to fully deliver all of the resources and effort that will get your customer where they want to go. How much of your time- not just face-to-face time, but development time, preparation time. What other resources. How much rest and down time do you need to be fully functional? Hmmm...

Then, taking into account the big picture, how much would that really cost for your heart to feel good about showing up that much?

If you help someone get where they want to go, chances are they'll get in your car again. Instead of dropping people off half-way there, take them all the way home. Then, follow-up isn't such a big deal after all, eh?
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