Break this bad habit: Being too professional
Yes, there is such a thing! Think about it: Do you see your clients as business opportunities and sources of income, or do you see them as actual human beings with likes, preferences, quirks, and stories? To truly put clients first, your number one goal at each meeting and during each phone call should be to invite them within arm’s length and make them less of a stranger.
People want to do business with individuals they like—and they like people who like them! Sure, it’s important not to cross certain boundaries, but there’s no reason you can’t strive to make a deeper connection with your clients by asking about their kids, their pets, their hobbies, and their jobs or businesses.
Now I’ll admit—sometimes it’s not easy to like people. But if you get out there and engage, you’ll find that most of them are just like you: filled with worries, hopes, and dreams. I can tell you from experience, once you become familiar with and invested in these things, you’ll work that much harder on each client’s behalf. Plus, a client who is thrilled that you remembered her upcoming anniversary or the fact that she recently became a grandmother will be more loyal and more likely to refer you to others.
BREAKING THIS BAD HABIT TACTIC: Every time you meet with a client, ask at least one question that has nothing to do with business. Ask about their kids. Ask about their pets. Ask about their favorite food, or movie, or vintage car. The conversation will likely develop in a surprising direction. As you hear their stories and get to know their joys and sorrows, you’ll start liking them. And you’ll find it more natural to put them first as clients.