Can you steal a client?
The other day, during one of the conferences, I accidentally witnessed a pretty fierce conversation between two representatives of competing companies. I don’t know what the context of that animated discussion was but this particularly loud statement ran in my ears: “YOU HAVE BEEN STEALING OUR CLIENTS!!”
It did not hit me right away, but later I caught myself thinking about this incident over and over again…
What did this person truly mean by “stealing clients”? Did someone from the rival company, wearing black masks and carrying guns, raid their offices and kidnap a client—or a bunch of them? Maybe these clients were made by brute force to move from one platform to that of the competitor? Maybe a group of hackers during the night “unplugged” clients from their current system and stealthily “plugged” them into a new one without their knowledge?
Of course not! None of the above took place and that is precisely what made me think more about the entire situation.
Can you actually “steal a client” from someone?
The answer: Of course YOU CAN’T!
What this person meant was that the client had moved from one provider to the other, and this had made him so angry and frustrated that he decided to confront his fellow competitor and call it stealing.
I know people love to blame on others or on circumstances for all the bad things that happened to them in business or in personal life. Its a human nature to sometimes reject the obvious and look for someone to blame. It makes us feel a bit better.
But it’s not that simple. Let’s dig deeper into this subject to better understand certain specifics of The Competition Games:
1. First and foremost – you never “own” a client
Don’t fight it, simply accept this. Nothing lasts forever. The relationship you have been enjoying for years may end suddenly and there may be multiple reasons for it. Don’t get emotionally stressed when it happens, but learn the reasons why and adapt quickly for your company’s future.
2. Hurrah! You won a client
Great! When you win a client for your business it means you did something well that made him or her want to work with you. Perfect! But this is just the start. Now the toughest part begins – you need to retain your client and establish a proper relationship with strong fundamentals from day one.
3. High switching costs
Remember that moving from one payment processor to another takes time and lots of work from people (I.T. team). When such decisions are made it means that something has triggered them. Was it your service done poorly? Was it some kind of shortcomings of your system, or perhaps technical faults that occurred too frequently?
In general, you enjoy some default credibility from your clients, but you do not wish to test their patience too often.
Always mean what you say and deliver what you promise.
4. Innovate or die
One of my favorites. Something that was new and advanced today becomes obsolete tomorrow. Technologies become old and age faster than anything else. Always keep this in mind and be aware of what happens around you.
Today you are an innovator, but tomorrow you may be just another provider. Plan ahead and never ever stop learning and developing yourself and your products. Listen to the market, observe it and respect it. When you master your field it’s then your time to try and shake things up!
5. Competition fuels innovation
Never be afraid of your competitors and do not waste too much time trying to stop them following in your footsteps. Such actions you should accept as a little flattery and mean you are doing something right. Remember the followers will always be behind you by definition: follow does not mean the same as lead, right?
6. Push yourself and your team to do more
You cannot change the world by yourself. You need a dedicated team and support from your partners. Remember, “the war” should not be within the team; its outside and you have plenty of chances to prove your competitors wrong. A strong, focused and dedicated team all sharing one vision is the most powerful resource you will ever have (ok, maybe that and one billion in the bank).
7. Learn from your mistakes
Mistakes are very important— perhaps even more so than your victories. We learn from them and this trial and error is invaluable. Repeated mistakes simply mean that you have not learned from the past and are unfortunately reliving it rather than moving forwards. Turn your mistakes into your future knowledge database!
8. Loyalty is not given instantly
Aha! Back to your clients now. You earn their loyalty, both in business and in your personal life day-by-day. Everyday! It cannot be expected or taken. Loyalty takes a long time to obtain and can be lost in a matter of seconds.
By listening and trying to understand your client’s needs you will unlock the door to, not only their expectations and hopes, but also to their fears. When you address these properly a mutually beneficial relationship will flourish. Empathy, my friend, is the key!
9. Don’t get too emotionally attached
It will hurt less when your clients leave. It’s just business at the end of the day and it will happen sooner or later, even if you did everything by the book. It is inevitable.
Client’s businesses or comapnies do get taken over, sold, or changes simply happen in their lives and their business decisions follow. Don’t beat yourself up about that. Instead, make sure you always conduct dynamic sales activities to compensate a sudden loss of one of your clients.
A magical word that in payment processing is a real virtue. If you do not have trust, you have nothing. Think about this. Would you work with someone whom you do not trust? You know the answer. Do not let your clients down in the same way you would not let down your friends.
At SecurionPay we always keep in mind this one particular thing: when we create something, regardless whether it’s a new feature or functionality, our goal remains the same, and that is to deliver our products and services in a manner that would win us over if we were in fact the client.
This simple rule allows us to put ourselves into our client’s shoes and make sure they remain content and their needs are always addressed.
Make sure you create a growing environment for your clients where they will feel good and comfortable. Take care of them, build a strong relationship by showing interest in what they do and help them grow.
Simply be there for them not only when sun shines but also during the “rainy days”.
And no one will “STEAL” them from you :).
So far it has been working very well for SecurionPay!
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