You need to get clear on the boundaries that allow you to scale.
The thrill of the sale is exciting, especially when you know you’re close to closing a deal. At that moment, when a potential client is close to saying yes, it’s not uncommon to offer a little cherry on the cake close the deal. You make a split-second decision to offer a bonus or extra services that you know would push a client over the edge into saying yes.
What you agree to at that moment could be an excellent decision for you, but more often than not, you will come to regret it later. During the sales process, your emotions and adrenaline are high. You’re riding energy that you hope will take your business to the next level because you know you’re closing this deal.
A business’s struggles and successes are based on its ability to deliver on its promises. When you make promises in the heat of the moment, you risk committing yourself to services and deliverables that you cannot provide without losing money.
There are two types of boundaries every business leader should consider setting that preserve their sanity. These boundaries help entrepreneurs create a better customer experience because they’re not based on promises you can’t deliver.
Related: 3 Reasons Marketing Is The New Sales
1. Don’t guarantee results unless you can control all the variables.
One of the easiest ways to close a deal is to guarantee results for the client. During the discovery call, it becomes clear that’s what most clients are looking for. It may be tempting to guarantee a specific result, but it’s a tactical mistake.
Just because you’re good at something doesn’t mean it will always work out the way you’d like it to. Often, outside factors create a successful result, and those factors are outside of your direct control. So while you may have gotten a certain result in the past, that doesn’t necessarily mean it will always be that way. And when you don’t get that result, you’ll need to put in more effort and resources to fulfill the guarantee; this often exceeds what the client invested in the services.
The important thing to understand is that your knowledge and processes are valuable. It’s not just the result that the client should pay for — it’s your knowledge of how to get that result that is valuable. So don’t tie your success to a result that might or might not come based on the hundreds of other factors involved.
When thinking about your services and what you charge, factor in the knowledge cost. If you are confident in the results you’ve gotten, consider offering a guarantee as a higher-tier package. Just make sure that the price is five times higher than anything else you offer.
2. Be crystal clear about the scope of services.
When a new client signs up with you, they should understand the period of time in which they’ll receive services. You should have a proposal along with a contract that outlines the deliverables and project timelines. There’s a temptation in entrepreneurship to offer services that can drag on forever.
Your contract should outline how long they have access to you, what exactly they’ll get and your responsibilities. You don’t want to be heartless, but you should the firm. You’re running a business, and a business should have timelines and clear deliverables.
Customers expect you to deliver. That is why it is your responsibility to set the proper expectation at the beginning of the relationship. Be clear about the deliverables, the scope of services and the project timelines. Not setting the proper boundaries to get the sale is a scarcity-based mindset. Don’t get tempted in the moment to make a decision that could cost you more money over time.
To become a brand with a solid reputation, you have to set the right expectations from the very first conversation. The discovery call is an opportunity to see whether or not the working relationship would be the right fit. Don’t view every sales conversation as a closed deal; view the sales calls as a proper call.
More sales are out there — believe it and create boundaries that will ultimately build your business.
Entrepreneur Leadership Network Writer