“It’s not you … it’s me.”George Costanza
Last week I had a prospective client reach out to me. They filled out the form on my website to schedule a free consultation to talk about some changes to their website. Before we even met, he gave me a call to ask a few questions. He had looked through my website and knew what I did and how much I charged, but he still had some specific questions. We talked about my services and how it would or would not apply to his situation and his website.
Over the course of our conversation, I had a realization. We weren’t going to be a good fit.
It seems odd to turn down business. I want my business to grow as much as the next business owner. But … I don’t want to do it at a cost. Because it’s not all about the money. It’s about having integrity with myself. It’s about what’s doing right for both me AND the customer.
I could have tried to make it work. But I knew that it wasn’t right. If I can’t deliver what the customer is looking for, I won’t do it (or try to do it) just to have them sign a check. That’s not a good experience for me and the customer won’t be happy either.
So … what did I do?
I referred him to my competition. I gave him some names and phone numbers of some other web designers he could reach out to.
Say that again?
I wanted him to be happy. I wanted him to have the success he was looking for. Knowing that we wouldn’t be a good fit in working together, I simply referred him to my competition.
How did that make him feel? Well, I think he was a little disappointed in the beginning. But at the same time, I think he was satisfied that if I couldn’t help him with what he needed, I didn’t just close my door on him so to speak. Instead, I gave him options. I was able to provide him with some alternative solutions to meet his needs.
- Be selective, where possible, with your clients.
- Be in integrity with yourself. Don’t offer what you can’t provide.
- Be of service. Provide additional options, even if it’s your competitors.