One of the easiest ways to retain clients is expectations. It’s also one of the fastest ways to lose a client.  That’s why I fired a guy that had a great product, even though he offered it for free.

Was thinking about last Mother’s Day.  Found a guy to detail one of our SUVs earlier that did a good job.

We’d been through a handful of detailers. None were horrible, but none were amazing.  This guy was better than the others, so I had him do another vehicle.

He text me the next day, “To thank you for your business…” he offered to do our third vehicle for free.

I asked a few dates and times and he said he could do that Sunday. I replied that I wouldn’t expect that, because it was Mother’s Day.

He said he wasn’t doing anything, and it’d actually be a good day for him to do it.  Perfect. I’ll surprise Hottie and get her Escalade detailed for Mother’s Day.

We got chatting and he talked about how hungry he was as an entrepreneur.

He talked about things I had experienced, too. That other detailers weren’t consistent. About the gap in the market he had the opportunity to capitalize on.

I’m always a sucker to help new entrepreneurs, so I gave him a few ideas right there that would help him with visibility and increase client retention, and gave him a copy of my SEO book.

He was all about it, seemed like he’d take action, so I offered to meet up sometime to help him more.

Fast forward to the night before the free detail. I text and he confirmed.

Next morning, scheduled time rolls by an no-show.  I text asking if he’s still coming.  No reply.

Whole day rolls by, me looking bad because I had plans with Hottie that I was now stalling for.  Somewhere around 7pm he texts that he “got busy.”

BS.  Even if he got busy, could have sent an update.  My money is on “got plowed,” and slept away the day.

Dude left me hangin’, looking a fool, and wasted most of my day as I stalled in case he was on his way.  He lost repeat business, and who knows how much opportunity in the advice I could have helped him with.

There’s no amount of “free” that I’d exchange my time for.

Join the cool kids

Read my latest SEO advice, how I prioritize family, & teach my kids entrepreneurship.

Appreciate you subscribing. I try keeping the list actionable. Hope you enjoy.