• Understand your market, communicate well, set boundaries

    RoadblocksSo here’s a lesson in “know your target market”
    I have a daughter who spent this spring trying to decide which college to attend. One of the schools she was considering is unclear on some things, so she has been trying to reach two different advisors in two different departments to clarify how some of her AP classes and concurrent enrollment would apply.
    These are counselors specifically assigned to help incoming freshmen during the admissions process. So that means working with high school seniors.
    Both of them reply to all emails with an auto response saying “I’d love to help! Please call me between 9 am and 3 pm so we can talk.”
    But she’s still in high school – and those hours are when she’s in school!!!
    She was BEYOND frustrated. She was wanting to go there, but their schedule and the method of communication THEY prefer does not work.
    Eventually, she chose another university over this small issue. (And I’m OK with that, the scholarship at the other school is better anyway…) But they lost a student over this communication issue.
    Make sure your business is not making the same mistake. I hear doulas say things like “I never let my clients text me, talking is so much better!” or “I don’t like email so I don’t put mine out there.”
    Think about your communication practices. Think about what best serves your clients. Make sure they can reach you in the way that makes them feel comfortable and supported. Don’t make it impossible – or even difficult – to get service from you! When they reach out to you by email, respond by email. If they text you, respond with a text.
    (Doesn’t mean you have to be a doormat with no boundaries, though. Just make sure your boundaries are not an obstacle for clients or potential clients.)

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