Season 7 – epiBLOG 11:
It’s “Back to School” time. And boy, do I have some lessons for you! As a former college professor, this is one of my favorite times of the year. Learning, teaching, and growing. It’s fun. Although, learning throughout the entire year is an option.
One of my greatest lessons learned is on the simple act of being transparent. This often seems like an easy enough concept for most to grasp, but how about when we apply transparency to business?
Today’s topic is on being transparent in all that you do as a business owner.
Transparency is important to the growth of your business. Clients have to trust you in order for them to want to work with you. Being real, honest, and authentic is your pathway to transparency.
Sometimes clients will ask you uncomfortable questions (business-related) and you’re worried about whether your response will close the deal or end it before it even begins.
I’ve been there.
There were several times when a potential client asked me how much do I charge for my editing, screenwriting, or content writing services. Depending on how the conversation would be going up to that point and what they’ve shared with me already, there were times when I concluded that they couldn’t afford my services. I would have all kinds of thoughts floating through my head at those moments. Do I reduce my rates? What kind of payment options can I offer?
What I realized is that it’s always best to be real, honest, and authentic with everyone. This transparency builds trust. It allows clients to open up to me and for them to feel safe. This is extremely important within the nature of what I do. Clients come to me to help them write parts of their personal life story. The nature of this very content has to be handled delicately.
TIPS ON TRANSPARENCY
- Always be honest about how much your product and/or service will cost. Do not change pricing after you’ve both agreed upon on a certain amount. Doing so will put a nasty taste in the client’s mouth, and more than likely, they won’t want to work with you anyway. Or worse, they choose to stop working with you in the middle of a project (if you’re a service business).
- If you’re in a service business, share your process (verbally and in writing) with clients so that they understand what to expect. It doesn’t have to be detailed; just enough to paint a picture for your clients.
- Follow through on what you promised from the beginning of your business relationship, whether you’re selling products and/or services. Always meet expectations, but aim to exceed them.
- When you’ve made an honest mistake or oversight, acknowledge it and admit it to your client. There are times in these situations where you’ll have to do more work, lose money, or both in order to repair the damage. Nevertheless, your integrity will be intact.
- If you haven’t done so already, create a list of specific business practices that you are committed to adhering to. This could be everything from requiring signed contracts before working with a client, taking a deposit before starting a project, or how to handle returns or refunds. Have your own policy in place. Be transparent about your policies, and both you and your policies will be respected.
Today’s LESSON is to be open and honest in all of your interactions with your clients.
FUN ASSIGNMENT: Choose a close friend whom you trust and share something about yourself with them that you never have before or the next time you have an appointment with a potential client, be completely transparent in areas where you’ve been nervous to be transparent in before.
Nitara Osbourne owns The Infinite Writer Agency, LLC, which provides content to producers, publishers, entrepreneurs, and sales people seeking help with developing their life stories into nonfiction books and movie scripts. Editing services are provided for clients as well. If you’re an accomplished sales or business professional, and are looking to tell your story, contact Nitara Osbourne. InfiniteWriterAgency@gmail.com.