I've only been in business for about 3 months...how could this happen so quickly?
That was a tough pill to swallow, but it's not the first time I've lost a client, and it won't be the last. I've given a lot of thought to it over the past couple of weeks.
The ability to swallow your pride and accept blame, criticism or negative feedback is crucial. We're all human, we all make mistakes, and things will go wrong. And even when things go according to our plan, some clients will still perceive them to be wrong.
It's our job to prepare for any type of feedback not just operationally, but also emotionally.
So I came up with a few tools...
1. Separate fact from fiction.
Don't fall into a trap of thinking, "I suck and I'm bad at my job." Instead, realize that there is a process that can be improved or a system that needs to be established. You'll likely solve this problem for another person too.
For me, I realized that I have room for improvement as it relates to how I write my agreements and the expectations I set up front. I've changed the language in my proposals and used this as an opportunity to get better.
2. Reframe negative to positive.
When my client gave me feedback on some of my strengths & weaknesses I was grateful for the opportunity to look inside myself from an outside perspective and see what could be improved. I also learned that some of my "weaknesses" were actually strengths and perhaps the "fit" wasn't right in the first place.
But, if you're scared of critiques, you'll never get better. Even if someone doesn't approach you in a tactful way, it's your job to shift your own mindset to determine how you can become better so you don't hear it again.
3. Realize that everyone has been there.
If you study almost any famous person that you can think of, you'll realize that they too have faced criticism (or been fired). It's how they handle that rejection that brought them to the top.
Check out this list of 48 Famous Failures Before They Made it Big.
No matter what business you're in, client happiness is the end result that we're aiming for.
The best professionals in all industries are receptive to negative feedback and know that they always need to improve.
Have you received feedback lately? How did you handle it?
Welcome! I'm Kelly Dowell, and I use technology to develop sales, marketing and recruiting solutions for lawn and landscape leaders. Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn, share this article, or send me a message to get in touch and make this world a smaller place!
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