It’s all about the experience

An old friend died suddenly last week. This larger than life man was ever present in the traditional music and dance community in the Northwest and across the country. I miss him.

In less than a week, over 1,000 people had joined his memorial FaceBook page and poured their memories, reflections, and farewells all over it.

My friend excelled in many things, but what people mentioned most about him was his gift at connecting with people. With a few words of encouragement or welcome, with a big hug, a humorous look, a joke or sly remark, he made thousands of people feel like they just made his day. And they never forgot how good he made them feel.

Neither do our clients!

The details of how we worked with them may or may not stay in their memories, but they always remember how the experience of working with us made them feel.

That’s why I won’t be collecting the twenty-dollar balance from my coaching client who paid on PayPal: I entered the wrong amount. It is clearly my fault, and not worth disturbing her.

Unfortunately, it isn’t always so clear cut or painless to absorb.

Sometimes we have to deliver information that doesn’t go with the ideal plan. If the option they had set their heart on is beyond their budget, they’ll remember that you bent over backwards to find a solution, even if they are disappointed with the outcome. An architect can find ingenious ways to work within local ordinances to make their client’s dream come true. Whatever the outcome, they will remember how they felt about the experience. How we handle the interaction often defines the experience.

How do we make our clients – and prospective clients – feel special the way my friend did?

It comes down to making it about them (instead of us). Seeing them and meeting them exactly where they are allows connection to happen. In that space the possibility is alive for this person to know us, like us, and grow to trust us. Out of that connection and growing trust arises the opportunity to work together.

In granular terms, making it about your prospect or client means focusing your attention on them and what will support their positive experience — whether you are pouring them a beer, helping find a sweater, performing knee surgery, or developing a marketing plan.

Being ‘of service’ means making it about them, and when done well, it is one of those things we can never get enough of. Who doesn’t love being paid attention to in a way that meets us just where we are? We can all offer that wonderful experience to our clients and prospects — something they’ll remember and talk about.

How do you provide a great experience for your clients and customers?

Photo of Grace and Hope taken the day baby Hope was born by Carolyn Hall Young

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