It is quite clear to the world now that the Russian government and Sochi were sorely under prepared as the host of one of the world’s largest events. Not only are they burdened with missed deadlines and poor construction, they missed the target on creating a living environment that would appeal to their guests.
Starting off in a deficit is a hard way to win your clients and keep them. In Sochi I read that there were some athletes that wanted to pull out of their competition because the venue was too dangerous. Wow, leaving before you start is not how you want to begin a relationship with your clients. Remember, Russia is investing in their country to entice the world to invest in their economy, whether through travel, manufacturing, development, etc. They have made it a much harder sell, now that they have exposed the challenge of staying on track with budget and deadlines.
When you are trying to entice people to invest in your business or simply purchase your products or services it is imperative you create the best experience possible from your first touchpoint with them. Here are three tips to help you stay on track and ensure you get to sell to them again and again.
1. Give Your Clients What They Expect
Sochi provided rooms full of toilets without stalls or privacy. Their guests have never had to do their private business is a room full of people. This has created an uncomfortable environment for the guests and the athletes.
Learn what your clients expect from your service. If you are selling in different locations, make sure that the expectation is known for each location. For instance, in Barrie, where I live, most services, from massage therapy to wedding photography, are significantly less expensive than in Toronto (an hour drive from Barrie). If you move your business to Barrie, expect to charge less for your service unless you add greater value than anticipated by your clients.
2. Be Ready
If you cannot delay your release date, then be sure you are ready. Unfortunately Sochi has had critical infrastructure delays meaning they are unable to provide appropriate accommodations. When you host the world you have to have a place for them to sleep.
If you sell a service and there is a deadline to deliver, you must meet that deadline or give a significant value to accommodate the inconvenience. Make sure you admit your shortcoming to your client, apologize, and offer to do something more for them.
3. Have The Resources
Ensure you have the resources to fulfill your commitments. Sochi has had critical structural failures. Guests and local workers are forced to live in and enter construction zones, unfinished buildings, and unsafe passageways. Were they short of construction workers, materials, money,…? We may never know, but something in their preparation plan was missing. As the most expensive Olympic games in history at $51 billion and counting, it is imperative for the Russians to do a review and evaluate what went wrong.
Make sure you have spent time evaluating what you will require to create something new in your business. Ask for input from others and do a SWOT analysis to try and prepare for the unexpected.
If it was corrupt business dealings that put the Russians behind we could ask, ‘did Sochi know they may have corrupt business relations to deal with and did this actually cost them their global reputation?’ If so, they didn’t prepare for that threat – and if not, why did they not know this was a threat?
If you want your clients to return, they have to have a great experience. If it is not what they expect when they expect it then make it more then they asked for and be gracious about the inconvenience you have put them through. You will have to work harder to win their return business if they don’t leave feeling like they got what they came for the first time they purchase from you.