Recently, I found myself writing emails saying, “I had a client cancel, so I am free.”
I wondered how my word choice was impacting my business, so I started speaking more precisely:
“I had a client reschedule today so I could make myself available.”
While this new statement was more accurate, I still wondered whether the information I was sharing was moving me forward, so I took it a step further.
I cut straight to the chase and just responded with “I would love to see you at…”.
This simple choice to change up my verbiage did a few things for my business.
Clients stopped canceling and started rescheduling. Any time I set new client expectations, clients are always made aware of a cancellation fee; however, I believe my casual reference to client cancellations in my emails led others to think this was not a policy I took seriously. By curbing my own language, my clients also began shifting their approach.
When clients did email to change an appointment, they began suggesting times to reschedule instead of waiting on me to suggest new times. This increased the overall efficiency of my scheduling process, as did implementing Calendly, a scheduling software. With this new tool in place, clients could – and did – reschedule their appointments without even emailing me. The software took care of it.
The people coming to see me were happier knowing that they were not my second or third choice for that time slot. They showed up more excited to meet with me because they felt prioritized; I genuinely wanted to see them at whatever time and date we chose.
The last thing my verbiage swap did for me was adjust my own perspective. Rather than focusing on cancellations, I was able to re-frame that the reschedules were merely life happening – normal changes. I’m not saying I embraced reschedules as positive pattern to repeat; I was simply reminded that life is ever-changing, and sometimes we need to just roll with the changes.
As humans, we are made to adapt and grow. By allowing elasticity in my perspective and my word choices, both by email and by phone, I was able to dramatically and positively impact my client relationships and scheduling.
Want to try it yourself? Here are some simple suggestions to change up your vocabulary.
|Current Statement||Revised To|
|I am running late||I appreciate your patience and look forward to seeing you soon|
|I can’t make it||I would love to be there the next time if that is a possibility|
|I am not available until||Luckily, my calendar has some openings the week of X|
|I don’t want to||My focus right now is on X, but I would love to explore Y in a few months when I am ready to reevaluate for the next quarter|
|I do not get along with her||She has an interesting personality, and I would be open to learning how to work successfully together|