My first client has been with me for almost a year. We are good friends and I love to work with him. Lately, however, I began feeling like I wanted to be more effective for him. I wanted him to have a better experience with me. So I needed to make some decisions.
Sometimes clients will not follow your advice. Have you noticed? It’s probably not meant as a sign of distrust toward you. It’s probably that they are not convinced, or maybe they think they don’t have the money or time to follow your advice. There are probably a thousand reasons not to hear what you are saying.
It’s not your job to make the decisions for them, but it is your job to offer value to them. If they are unwilling to follow your advice, it is possible that they will not find the successes they seek. In that case your business may suffer either in reputation or income (or both) when they fire you.
If you have clients instead of customers, and those clients refuse to listen, for your own sake, get some projects going that will bring some wins, or consider firing them and find other clients.
Some Client Training Required
I don’t want to fire my client because I’m a softy, and I love the exchange we have. He trains me in martial arts and I market for him. I sincerely believe he is willing to try about anything, and I realized recently that I have probably not communicated well enough for him to understand what I think he should be doing. So it’s my problem, and I need to fix it!
My action plan is to begin slowly educating him. I also have decided to volunteer some time and resources to bring him small wins. I’m specifically talking about his email list. He doesn’t really have one and I have failed to communicate just how that list could be built. So I decided to go above our agreement and do some things to get the ball rolling.
Of course, this is for his benefit. I love the guy and I truly want him to succeed because he’s awesome, and I believe he can contribute a lot to this world. But it doesn’t hurt that I will also keep a client if he succeeds.
Make A Plan For Your Client
Now that I came to that realization and decided to put in the extra effort, I plan to have a brain-storming session at the next possible opportunity and hammer out 3-5 solid ideas. Then I am going to do at least one of them and let him know what I’m doing and why.
I want him to continue to appreciate what I do for him. Remember: It’s all about the client. It’s not wrong to make money, but don’t let everything be about money. Relationships are where it’s at, and as Rachel Botsman said in a TEDtalk, “The currency of the new economy is trust.”
I’m trying to find ways to go the extra mile and make those relationships as solid as possible. What have you been doing to do achieve trust with your clients or customers?