The other day, a TouchingBase.io customer cancelled their subscription.
I value each and every one of my customers, so I immediately reached out to him. I barraged him with questions: What were your issues? What were you hoping to get out of the service when you originally signed up? Do you want to have a call and talk about it?
He didn’t want to have a call. In fact, he gave me sort of a roundabout answer to explain his decision and not hurt my feelings at the same time. I imagine he was pretty surprised that I contacted him directly in the first place. I’m guessing he won’t come back.
I have to be honest with myself: I blew it. I made a big deal out of something that wasn’t a big deal. People sign up for new services and cancel old services every day. This poor guy just wanted to cancel and be left in peace, and here I was, begging him for answers.
So, why did I overreact? What causes us to send emails that are completely off the mark?
It all comes down to the mindset you’re in when you’re emailing. In this case, I was in a bad mindset. I felt upset that someone had cancelled. I felt nervous that if I didn’t find out why, more people would cancel for the same reasons. I panicked.
I was in what’s called the “Scarcity Mindset.”
In the Scarcity Mindset, you have a zero-sum view of life. You think that there isn’t enough to go around, so to speak, and you focus your efforts on getting a bigger piece of the pie. In this mindset, you’re focused on the short term. You’re thinking “what about me??”
This mindset rarely gets results, in email or in life. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, where your negative energy attracts negative consequences. You miss out on the big picture.
The opposite of the Scarcity Mindset is the “Abundance Mindset.”
In the Abundance Mindset, you have a bountiful view of life. You believe that there’s plenty to go around, and you’re grounded in a sense of self-worth. You can sit back and focus on the long-term instead of scrabbling for what’s yours right now. You’re thinking “how can I use my talents to help others?”
This is the perfect mindset to be in when you’re networking, pitching or following up. When you’re giving off good vibes, other people can feel it. They react to your positive energy with positive energy of their own. And good things happen.
If I had been in an Abundance Mindset when emailing my customer, I would have written a completely different email.
I would have told him that I’m sorry it didn’t work out, that I’ve completed his cancellation, and he’s welcome back anytime. And I would have left it at that. I definitely wouldn’t have forced him into the uncomfortable position of justifying his decision. That’s a sure way to lose business.
After all, what’s the point in trying to hold on to a single customer when there are millions of potential customers out there? In our freelancing and consulting gigs, we can get so sidetracked by one project or one client that we forget that we hold value for so many other people. “There’s plenty of fish in the sea,” as they say.
Here’s an example of Abudance vs. Scarcity at work.
Imagine you go on a job interview and you don’t get the job. You could accept the rejection and move on…but instead, you decide to email back the HR Manager and demand to know why you weren’t selected. That’s the ultimate Scarcity reaction! You probably won’t get a helpful answer anyway, and your demand will make the HR Manager feel justified in their decision to reject you. They’ll smell your desperation and be glad they picked someone else.
It’s the candidate who exudes confidence and self-assurance who will land the job. Or, maybe they’ll realize the job isn’t a good match in the first place, and they’ll pull themselves out of the running. In either scenario, they’re looking at their long-term interests instead of short-term wins. They’re thinking Abundantly, and they’ll end up getting what they want.
So, the next time you’re following up with a new prospect or client, ask yourself: What mindset am I in right now?
Am I in a Scarcity Mindset: feeling desperate for work, unsure where my next paycheck will come from, mad at the world for making it so hard to be a successful entrepreneur?
Or am I in an Abundance Mindset: feeling confident in my abilities, certain that more work will come my way when the time is right, satisfied with my place in the world and eager to help others with my talents?
Whenever you sit down to write those important emails, think Abundance!
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