Had a meeting last week with an existing client, hoping to develop a pro-active plan for Inbound Marketing activities.

I intended to begin the meeting by letting my client know that I am opening a new location. An Internet-based business allows me to work from just about any place, but I still wanted to show respect by telling her in person.  Painful surprise — she already knew because someone else told her.

It was only when I spoke with my Sales Coach later that the full impact of that exchange became clear to me.  (I’m very good at Marketing but years of Word of Mouth business allowed me to learn about Sales very late in the game.)  Anyway, his response to this story was that my client might think I was deliberately trying to hide something from her.  “I would never do that,” I groaned.  “But,” says my Sales Coach, “She may not have believed that.  So what’s the lesson?”

The lesson is that everything I do should be transparent – clear as glass – to my clients.  If something changes, I should be on the phone, letting them know immediately.  Whether it’s taking on staff or adding a new location or anything that might affect my ability to serve them well, they have a right to be the first to know.

Lesson learned:  Be transparent!