A couple of weeks ago a business contact was telling me about a potential client that had stood him up for a meeting. To make matters worse, the client had requested the meeting, chosen the time and even the venue. No email. No phone call. No pigeon post.
He was furious about the time he had wasted getting to the meeting, plus the half-hour he had been sitting waiting for the client to show. Understandable, since time isn’t something any business can afford to waste, no matter what size the organisation.
Running a services company, I certainly understand how much a business runs on its time above all other things. But I shocked my business contact with a comment he wasn’t expecting: “You should be glad the client didn’t show up.”
I could see the frustration stirring behind the whites of his eyes. “What?” he said.
I explained that a client who doesn’t realise the value of his time would never be willing to pay a fair price for his company’s services. If the client didn’t count that hour-long slot or the thirty minutes travelling as valuable time, just imagine how the client would respond to an hourly bill for services.
Even the smallest, most struggling service businesses should be selective about the clients they choose to work with. A client who doesn’t understand the value of the service provider’s time will usually take double the hours, at half the price: one half delivering the service, the other half selling on the price of the time. This happens all of the time in service businesses; don’t let it be so for yours.
I find it useful to demonstrate the value of my company’s services at the earliest opportunity with new clients. Every business’s time is finite, so use yours well.
Director, Group Dane