If you hire someone for a service, you expect them to show up on time.
You expect that they’ll return your calls and emails.
You hope that they’ll do what they promise they’d do.
You want to feel safe in their hands.
When someone doesn’t deliver on their promises (or in a timely manner), you feel let down. Anxious. Vulnerable. Ripped off. Or, if you’re like me – blistering rage.
You never want your clients to feel like that, right?
The best way to avoid that energy is simple: be reliable.
Don’t leave people hanging. Don’t make excuses when you miss a deadline.
Better yet, don’t miss a deadline.
Keep your word, even if that means you have to work harder or longer.
Make your clients feel secure.
Tips for reliability:
Set reasonable expectations. Be clear on your policies right away so there is no confusion.
Don’t take on more than you can reasonably handle.
Set reminders if you need to.
If you are running behind, give ample notice so your client knows you’re on it. This also gives them enough space to hire someone else if you cannot fulfill your commitment.
What about if you are the one hiring someone?
Find out their turnaround time before you make your hire. ASK.
Get referrals – and find out if they are timely or run late.
Get a contract, especially in cases where you are spending a lot of dough (ex: web designer). If it’s in writing, you may have legal grounds if they do not finish a job in time.
If they are within the time frame, don’t be a pain in the ass.
However, if you are forced to pester or nag because they are missing in action (or full of excuses) – it’s time to rethink your connection. You should not have to chase after someone, period.
What about if you goof up?
If you drop the ball, contact your client immediately, apologize, and then do what you can to make them whole.
On occasion, I have goofed up appointments (just did that last week). When that happens, I apologize and then I make it right. That may mean a reschedule, adding on extra time, giving them another reading on the house, whatever. Be gracious and take responsibility when you mess things up. Trés simple.
In all the years I’ve been doing email readings, I’ve only missed one deadline – and that was due to my father dying. The client wrote me a curt email and I responded immediately to let her know what was going on, apologized – and then did the reading on the spot.
While that example is extreme, there may be times where you have a similar situation – sickness, family drama, etc. The best path is to let your client know as soon as you can. Most people are reasonable.
That being said, if you are constantly running late and making tons of excuses, it may be time to step back and reconsider the way you’re running your business…or your life.
It may be that you are overwhelmed or not managing your time well. Whatever the case may be, take measures to correct that. If you don’t, you run the risk of getting a bad rep – and that can hurt your business, even if you are amazingly talented.
That’s because people not only want to feel safe in your hands, but they also want to feel respected. Being responsible and dependable says “I value and respect you.” Be that entrepreneur and your business will feel great for your clients – and for you.
“Arriving late was a way of saying that your own time was more valuable than the time of the person who waited for you.” ~ Karen Joy Fowler
© Theresa Reed | The Tarot Lady 2015