In the vast sea of potential clients, marine service providers must navigate carefully to avoid the treacherous currents of bad business. Just as a seasoned captain can read the waves, so too must the savvy service provider discern which clients to bring aboard and which to leave at the dock. To start: a minimum price is one of the ways I filter out people right at the beginning. This article will explore the strategies to ensure that every client you take on is worth the voyage.
Setting Your Standards High
The first line of defense in the marine service industry is establishing a minimum price. This is not just about profitability; it’s about setting a standard. “You just learn to read people over time… you can kind of get a sentiment of I don’t think it’s going to work out,”. By setting a price floor, you immediately signal to potential clients that your services are premium and that you value quality over quantity. This approach may mean fewer clients initially, but those who do engage will likely respect your expertise and the value you provide.
The Time Frame Filter
Time is precious and waits for no one, neither should you for clients who do not respect your schedule. “If somebody wants me to come out right now, I can’t do it… I set a schedule just like you do.” By enforcing a strict timeframe for your services, you filter out those in a rush for a quick fix, often a sign of undervaluing your services. Instead, you attract clients who plan ahead and are willing to wait for quality workmanship.
The Professionalism Perception
First impressions in the marine industry are as crucial “I really appreciate your communication… it’s really hard to convey that when someone calls you for an estimate,”. Your professionalism, from the neatness of your attire to the clarity of your communication, sets a standard. Clients who value this professionalism are more likely to value the services you provide and are, therefore, the clients you want to retain.
The Online Presence Filter
In today’s digital age, your online presence is your flagship. It’s the first thing potential clients will see and judge you by “Having that website presence and online presence I think is another filter right off the bat.” A professional website, clear service descriptions, and transparent pricing can filter out clients looking for the lowest bidder. Instead, you’ll attract those who recognize and are willing to pay for quality.
The Referral and Network Filter
Not every inquiry will lead to a client you can or want to serve, but every interaction is an opportunity to build your reputation. “We’re not even making any money off of it… there’s value in helping the client out with their project even if we’re not the right person to do it,”. By referring potential clients to trusted colleagues when you’re not the right fit, you build a network of goodwill and professionalism that will pay dividends in client referrals and reputation.
The Direct Approach – Pricing Transparency
One of the boldest moves in client filtering is transparency in pricing. “It drastically lowered our call volume but the calls that did come in were actually calls that were good and actually sold,”. By putting your minimum on your website, you deter price shoppers and attract serious clients. This approach may seem daunting, but it ensures that those who reach out are already comfortable with your pricing structure.
The Value of Helping Over Selling
Ultimately, the marine services industry is about providing value, not just making a sale. “It becomes less about making money right and more about helping… you attract those people and those clients by doing that,”. When you focus on being helpful, whether through your services or by directing clients to someone who can better serve their needs, you create a business environment that is not just transactional but transformational.
The strategies for filtering out bad clients are as varied and complex as the sea itself. By setting clear standards, respecting your time, presenting yourself professionally, maintaining a strong online presence, building a network, being transparent with pricing, and focusing on providing value, you can ensure that your client list is as strong and reliable as the finest vessel. It’s part of the filtering process… maybe they’ll still come back to you in the end even though you think there’s nothing there for me. In the end, it’s about building relationships that last longer than a single job, ensuring a steady course for your business’s future.
Brought to you by
SHIPSHAPE.PRO – Innovative platform that bridges the gap in marine repair
MIDA.PRO – Marine Industry Digital Agency – Web dev / Marketing
Podcast – SHIPSHAPE INTERNATIONAL OCEAN INSIGHT