What if, the first time you went to a new dentist, the receptionist blindfolded you before leading you back to the exam room? That would be unnerving, right? Many people are anxious about going to the dentist anyway, let alone if they have to completely trust a stranger they can’t even see.
Now, think about how your clients and prospects are likely to feel when they come to see you. Do they know what to expect? Or will they experience a similar fear of the unknown?
Anxiety comes from a lack of knowledge about an upcoming event or outcome. Perhaps it’s no surprise that the current version of the best-selling pregnancy book, What to Expect When You’re Expecting, is over 650 pages. Those soon-to-be moms and dads want to know all the details.
Details matter, particularly when it comes to setting expectations. While we can’t control the markets, we can give our clients and prospective clients a clear picture of what we can control.
Here are some steps you can take to help with your clients’ uncertain expectations:
- Define next steps. Develop the habit of ending every conversation with a clear explanation of the next steps: who will do what by when?
- Provide an agenda. Prepare an agenda before each meeting and ask for your client’s input.
- Communicate your frequency of contact. Confirm how often you will communicate with your clients and what circumstances would lead to you contacting them more or less frequently.
- Establish timelines. You’ve heard the advice to “under-promise and over-deliver,” but providing accurate information is much better for meeting expectations.
- Give guidance. Provide easy-to-follow directions to your office location and include photos of your office, including interior shots, so new visitors know exactly what to look for.
- Anticipate. Always look ahead and imagine things through the eyes of your clients and prospective clients.
Tomorrow morning take a fresh look around your office. What can you do to set better expectations?