The Joy of Repeat Clients
It’s 11pm and I’m going to see the Veterinarian, also a mobile service provider. She had a busy day and it’s only when she returns home for some sleep that I can witness her signature. She has been a constant source of business. As with many new clients, I first insisted on PayPal, but after getting to know her, a check is welcome; and avoids the PayPal fees. I know exactly the best way to get to her building, I even know the doorman by name; who receives the completed work.
It’s so much nicer to work for a repeat client. You know them, are sure they will have their ID, and can proceed on the basis of mutual trust. A different blog covered the subject of doing a bit extra, without cost; one example is offering to notarize an extra copy. Additionally, I distribute a small premium to my clients. It’s a useful device that everyone seems to appreciate. I take care to not have my phone number, etc., printed on it. They have my card, that’s enough. Many dislike carrying “advertising”; it’s also a bit offensive to me.
There is also a downside to repeat clients. Some, occasionally, will want you to “bend the rules” a bit. “I have to leave right away, I’ll leave the document with my secretary for you to notarize, and I’m making your payment right now”. This, and similar requests; can strain the relationship. Your best defense it to stress during initial contacts how “by the book” you conduct your professional activities. Yes, they are “personally known” but requiring their ID every time goes a long way to showing how strictly you follow the rules. Money can be a powerful motivating force; and some rich clients are used to deploying cash to “grease the wheels”. Be flexible and creative. I tell my client that http://kenneth-a-edelstein.com can meet them where they are going and, in just a moment, complete the transaction legally.
Speaking of “legally”; when pressed to “cross the line” you can gently mention that attempting to induce a public official to perform an illegal action is; in itself, a crime. I have had several conversations with foreigners who seem used to the need for bribing public officials to do what they need. I assume they are misunderstanding my insistence for personal appearance to be a solicitation for some extra cash. Telling them you can understand their lack of knowledge about notary laws is forgivable; but persisting boarders on the crime of conspiracy; asking someone else to commit a crime. Rarely will it be necessary to mention “conspiracy” with a regular; but some cold callers want it “their way” and refuse to accept that you can’t notarize an incoming FAX.
In additional to your skills and knowledge, your image as a professional is what keeps the client calling back. Notarization is a small aspect of their project. But, a flawed job can have major consequences that they wish to avoid. The fact that your prior work “sailed thru” the legal processing, without challenge or rejection, remains strongly in their mind. They are expecting the same perfection in everything that you do. Take care to do your “due diligence” both before and after the assignment; or you will lose them. Schedule carefully, check for misspellings vs the ID on each document, clean that stamp often and have the pad properly inked. Really do that double check, the client is familiar but the documents are, of course, new to you.
The lady veterinarian will have scheduling priority for tomorrow morning. A new offer will not bounce her to later processing. Unseen and unspoken loyalty can be sensed by your clients.