Would you like your business to perform better and be more consistent?
Imagine if you could be prepared for anything and face any client knowing that the work’s already been done for you and you just have to carry out the easy part.
When you eliminate the space for mistakes to happen and for things to go wrong, you can enjoy your work with less pressure and stop fearing the unexpected.
It’s entirely possible if you understand how to do the work before the work.
Prep For Success
You wouldn’t try a new recipe without all of the right ingredients, would you? You probably know from experience that if you make it up as you go along, and substitute the things you haven’t got, the recipe won’t work out how you expected.
Your business is no different.
If you want to provide good service to your clients and you want things to run smoothly, your business needs systems and procedures in place. Like a road map or ‘recipe’ to follow in every situation.
And you need to have thoroughly prepared so that you know your recipe will work as expected.
This could mean researching clients’ needs, understanding their concerns, or diagnosing issues as they arise. It could also be as simple as a fully automated client on-boarding system, or just a formal introduction to their account manager.
This front-loaded approach to preparation would be the “meat and potatoes” and may be worth up to 80% of the work in servicing a client.
The other 20% would be the secret sauce where you can be more personal and experimental with creating added value to your client’s experience.
Having the right prep done before you carry out the recipe/procedures creates less space for things to go wrong and lets everybody know the next step to take for a high chance of success.
What Could Go Wrong?
What happens when you know a little about what you’re doing but you haven’t done the work before you get to work?
For example, you own a beauty store and a customer walks in. The customer asks you for advice on which type of face lotion they should buy.
You don’t know enough about the different face lotions you stock, so you give them a vague response and hope that the one they choose works for them.
You’ve done the work right? You get up early every day to come to work and be available to serve your customers. You stock a wide range of options for your customers to choose from. The rest is up to them.
Except that you haven’t done the work before the work, so you’re leaving a lot up to chance.
That customer might purchase the wrong skin lotion and then be cursing your store for giving them a face full of pimples! They might tell everybody they know that your beauty shop sells terrible products and that you’re a con artist who sold them the wrong stuff.
The Work Before The Work Creates The Result
If you had spent time getting to know the different skin lotions that you stock and different skin types, you could have made sure you were more prepared to answer your customer’s questions and give them a better chance of finding a product that they’re happy with.This is an ok result, but you can do better.
Now imagine that when your customer walks in and asks for your advice. You’re able to understand the concerns that they have. You can empathize with their problem. And you’re already loaded with the answers and solutions to solve the issue and ease their worries or objections.
Not only does your customer leave feeling satisfied with your product, but they also feel valued, appreciated, and listened to. This creates trust and bonding between your business and your customers.
You have a whole lot of happy customers who value your knowledge and your products.
The work you do before the work creates the result. So the more preparation you do, the better your chances of a successful result.
Controlling The Variables
You can’t guarantee that unexpected problems won’t get in the way of you providing the ideal customer experience or presenting the perfect sales pitch, for example.
But you can look at how you can control the variables so that there’s much less chance of anything going disastrously wrong.
And you can make sure that you’re prepped for any event.
So, in the case of your beauty store: the ideal skin lotion for your client is out of stock. You might have been able to avoid this situation with careful planning and forecasting, but if it happens anyway, what other measures have you got in place to control the variable?
You need a backup for your backup for your backup!
You can hold on to your customer’s trust by having a confident solution prepared that you can deliver at a moment’s notice.
Like being able to order that face lotion directly to the customer’s home address at no extra cost to them. Or can you give them an exact date that it will be in stock and a promise to notify them with a reminder on that day (and even a discount code against future purchases)
Whatever your back-up is, it needs to deliver the result at short notice and you need to have another back-up in place if the first one fails.
How Can You Build Better Prep Into Your Business?
Most people believe that business relationships are built on interactions with customers. But it’s not the interactions that build the relationships.
It’s the work that you do before the interaction takes place that determines the relationship your business has with its customers.
You can put the work in to influence the relationship with simple actions that make a big difference. Like making regular account calls to see that the client is making full use of their software features or creating an effective procedure for how to handle a customer complaint.
By doing the work before the work it shows your customers that you’re professional, competent, and that you value them.
You Don’t Need To Be Brilliant In The Moment If You’re Brilliant Before The Moment
Henry Ford once said:
This is another way of illustrating that brilliant moments come from the prep and work done behind the scenes. This is where the real magic happens.