How My Best Customer Dropped A Home Business Bombshell On Me!
By : PAUL BOWLEY
A home business can be an exciting way to earn extra cash. It can even become a part-time or full-time job.
But, if you're not clear on what it takes to manage your home business, you can waste your time by doing things that don't help you build your business.
This is especially true of home-based internet business. It's easy to get fooled because so many intriguing opportunities are turnkey. That is, they're all pre-programmed and set up for you so you can be in business for yourself in a matter of minutes.
Unfortunately it's easy to forget the most basic law of your home business . . . you don't have a business till you have a customer!
I learned this the hard way when my best customer dropped a bombshell on me. One of my home-based business ventures is in the field of job search. I provide a variety of services and products.
Susan, my best customer, had bought several of my e-book products and services when my home business was still young. She had regularly emailed me with job acquisition questions as she proceeded in her job campaign. At one point she asked me about references. I advised her not to provide references to a potential employer until a mutual interest has been established.
In other words, I told her to withhold references until she had created an interest and the employer was giving her buying signals that he was seriously considering her candidacy. Then, if he asked for references before he made a decision, she could say, "I'll be happy to provide excellent references if you're ready to make an offer."
Well, my strategy backfired. The employer insisted that he wouldn't proceed any further until he had an opportunity to check out her references. She resisted, as I had advised, and he cut off the discussion and sent her packing.
She was devastated. She wanted her money back because I had given her bad advice. Her reaction set up a serious challenge to my home business because she had been a wonderful customer and had purchased a number of my products and resume services. To me this was an unnerving bombshell!
After considering carefully how to proceed, I bypassed the email route and picked up the phone to speak with her directly. I told her I was sorry my advice didn't work. However, I pointed out that it was given as a courtesy, without charge, whereas the products she purchased were a separate transaction independent of our communications.
However, because I valued her as a customer, I would arrange a credit for part of her purchase. And I showed her how to counter the disappointing reaction of her prospective employer so that she could reopen the discussion and move toward a job offer. This time it worked!
The moral of the story is that your home business success depends upon the success of your customers!