When I started my job, it never occurred to me that there was a such a thing as a client not being a good fit. Client Regret? What’s that? Avoid bad clients? There’s no such thing, right? Feel free to laugh at my naiveté, it’s a little deserved. Don’t get me wrong, when you’re starting out, finding the right client is the last thing you’re thinking about! Paying the bills is much more important. But after the first few years in my career, I was a little burned out and I found that I was spinning my wheels with some success, but a lot of wasted time. We’ve all been in that situation. Our gut is telling us one thing and our mouth is agreeing to something else entirely. I believe to my core that people are generally good at heart. I also firmly believe that there is no such thing as a bad client, just the simple fact that I may not be a good fit for every fabulous client. But even if I’m not, I bet I know someone that might be. Here are some tips I’ve picked up along the way to help determine what the best course may be:
- Confirm Expectations – It’s amazing how things can take off in a positive way or crash to the ground based off a communication error when it comes to expectations. I heard a story about another agent who had a client that would call the office phone every day to discuss her policy. That’s great, agents love making sure businesses understand their policy, but her expectation was for the agent to be at her desk waiting and she would not call a cell phone. In our profession, that is an impossible expectation because our jobs tend to have us out and about. It caused problems without a doubt. Clarifying ahead of time can eliminate a lot of tension later and eliminate wasted time if a client and business’s ideals don’t match up.
- Explain the Process – Most people believe that they have a general idea of how things work. I find myself guilty of this, especially when it comes to restaurants. “It’s just one pizza, what’s taking so long,” is a common thought in my head. but I don’t know the process or the details that get us to the outcome. Without going into a sermon, it’s simple to give a brief explanation of how the process is going to go that way there isn’t any mutual mystification. If my prior experience is with a State Farm Agent that got me a quote in 2 hours and they called our office wanting a quote, they might assume we’d be the same. I can save a lot of angst by letting them know that we have more than 12 companies we shop with so it can often take a little more time to make sure we’re getting them the best policy.
- Open Communication is the Best – Communication is the key to any good relationship, whether it be personal or business. Opening up lines of communication can open doors, but close them even faster. I love the phrase, “It’s okay to say the hard things, but it’s how you say it.” Sometimes based off communication, I know right off the bat that a client may be better going somewhere else and that’s okay. However, if I bluntly scream, “Your expectations are ridiculous and you’re crazy!” I’ll probably never work in this town again. As long as we have customers’ best interests at heart and the communication is clear I find that people generally react well. Rule number #1 always applies – what’s right for the client is always right – and sometimes that means being honest with yourself as well.
- Trust Your Gut, Not Your Brain – There’s this crazy thing called intuition. It’s a little voice that we hear steering us in one direction or another. It’s there for a reason. If you have a feeling that what they’re looking for and what you’re able to provide would not meet up, trust that. In my experience, when I haven’t listened, it’s usually come back to bite me.
If you have questions regarding your insurance, ECI is always here. Call us for an Oklahoma City insurance quote at (405) 373-2977.