A few days ago, a customer called. She was asking about her guide and had some general questions about the industry. She was really nice and apologetic and kept saying “I know you’re probably too busy…” I had to reassure her that I was available to help.
I want to make something clear: I’m never too busy to help customers. I’m busy and I won’t always be there to answer your emails right away, I have a hectic life. But I do help my customers as best I can.
Having said that I have to lay some ground rules:
I do limit my help to customers, i.e. people who have purchased the guide. Sometimes people can ask a question and if it’s quick I’ll answer. But I usually don’t go into detail to help people who have not purchased the guide. It doesn’t seem fair but the fact is people like to try to get over when they can. I’ve had people (mainly guys– no disrespect but that’s the truth) call and talk about how they are looking for $10,000 of merchandise, yet go on and on about the risk involved in paying the amount for the guide. Hey, the price for my guide is measly compared to ten grand. I don’t charge people for providing information that they ask so I limit my assistance to those that have shown the courtesy (that’s how I see it) of buying and reading the guide first.
I don’t help people with bad attitudes at all. That’s real. If I wanted to deal with impatient people, jerks, demanding, irritating, annoying and/or rude people, I’d go get a job. But I don’t have one and haven’t had one in years. So, that’s the pleasure of being a small business owner- I don’t have to take crap from people and believe me I don’t.
I can’t help people without a focus. Some people email like “I don’t know what I want to do.” And I’m like, I don’t know what to tell you. I’m not THAT kind of person. I don’t have the capacity to be able to assist people who are unsure about what they want to do.
It’s better to have a concise email. If you go on and on with fifteen questions in one email, I’m not going to know where in the heck to begin. You can always get and answer and then ask another, but asking too many just overwhelms me.
I won’t answer questions I feel can be easily answered with a quick google search. Stuff like when is XYZ trade show. Now if you want to ask me if I have been or how it was, that’s different.
Anyhoo, that’s about it for now.