A while ago I was having some miscommunication problems with a service provider.

I use the word ‘miscommunication’ rather loosely and euphemistically to be truthful. I’m still trying to put a positive spin on the whole experience.

Actually, they just weren’t listening. They had made decisions on my behalf that I didn’t agree with, and their communication style didn’t suit me, or my business. And they never adjusted to suit me, preferring to rather make excuse after excuse as to why I , their client, should change everything about my business to work the way that they, the service provider wanted to do things.

This is just one of the many examples you’ll either experience yourself  or (even worse) inflict upon your clients at least once in your life as a business owner, or professional working person.

So the real question to ask yourself as you look for a checklist of things to measure yourself and your business, is this ; Are you getting too fancy too quickly? Have you settled the basics and are you doing them well ?

If the answer is anything short of a resounding , loud and clear “YES”, then, well, perhaps it’s best you take a good hard look at how you do things.

So if you’re looking for that one thing to hook your clients, that one thing to differentiate you, my advice is; Get back to basics.

Get the basics of the business relationship right first. Communicate properly, openly, and humbly with everyone you come into contact with. After you have mastered the basics; then you move onto the bells and whistles.

Don’t make assumptions, ( and definitely read the entire email first before frantically hitting reply because you have to show the other person how wrong  they are.)

Ultimately it boils down to one simple principle – If you can’t get these basics right, all the other ‘special deals’ just make you look like a trite egotist who is completely out of touch. Out of touch with your clients, out of touch with your market, and pretty much out of touch with the rest of us normal people whose bad experiences are inflamed by the insincerity of a badly timed gift, badly written thank you card, or blatant fishing for another order while we’re still trying to process the last round of bad news.

Your 3 check points are :

1) Open clear and honest communication

2) Talk the language of your clients, and find out how they prefer to be communicated with, and adjust where necessary.

3) Don’t assume anything.