Are You Letting Your Clients Run Your Business?
I had a Strategy Session call with a holistic practitioner recently to discuss the challenges he was having with growing his business consistently. Based on his answers to a few key questions, I could see very clearly several key factors that related to his struggle; some were related to mindset and some to marketing and his business model.
As I explained how I could help him with these issues, just as I I solved them for myself as well as other clients I've worked with, he asked to work with me. I offered him the program I felt was the best fit for his needs and we agreed to get started.
Perfect win-win scenrio, right? It seemed so, until it came time to sign the contract. That's when the roles reversed and the client tried to hijack my business by asking me to modify my contract and program to accomodate his fears and doubts (read on if this has ever happened to you).
After sending the contract for him to sign, the terms of which I had outlined during our call and again in the accompanying email, he sent a couple of emails asking me to make various revisions to the contract.
That included changing the language of what I do in my coaching as well as changing a pretty big element of our commitment to each other in the coaching process.
Then he tried to negotiate on my fee and access a time-limited discount that had expired.
After a couple of other requests, which normally would have been reasonable, I recognized a pattern of fear that was operating and sabotaging his ability to be an ideal client.
The words of one of my coaches, David Neagle, rang in my ears, "If you have to drag them in, you'll have to drag them around." I've realized the truth of this statement through experience, so I no longer accept clients into my practice if the initiation process shows these signs. It will only continue into the relationship and create all kinds of headaches. It won't be good for me and won't be good for my client. I let him know that I didn't feel we were a good fit after all and gave him some introspective questions to ask himself to be more open to coaching with someone in the future.
So, to save YOU some headaches and allow you to learn from my (and my coaches') experiences, here are some signs that you DO NOT have an ideal client prospect (someone who is willing to listen to you, follow your directions, respect you as an expert in what you do, trust that you can help them, is likely to get good results, and will tell others about you):
1. They keep asking you more and more questions to try to "prove" your expertise (they should have done their research about you beforehand with the marketing materials you provide or referrals/testimonials given)
2. They ask you to negotiate your fees
3. They ask you to change your programs or packages to suit their needs
4. They ask for other "exceptions" outside of how you normally do business or that cross your healthy professional boundaries
5. They tell you "I'll probably be a tough case" (a part of them will keep trying to prove that to you through resistance or non-compliance) Exception: if you specialize in helping "tough cases"
6. They won't sign a contract that says they agree to stick with the process/program you recommended all the way through (unless you have something that has a 100% guarantee for results or there is some medical necessity to quit)
7. They haven't followed through on the steps you gave them to do BEFORE your inquiry session/consultation/1st session
These are some of the main ones I found were "red flags" pointing out non-ideal clients. I'd love to hear others that you've encountered. Please share them in the comments box below to we can be on the lookout for them.
p.s.–One of the challenges he was having in his business was prospects not wanting to work withi him in the structure he created, and trying to negotiate on fees & the number of sessions. Any surprise that that is what he's attracting?
Do you need help getting truly ideal clients and making more money with less effort and more fun? Schedule a complimentary MMM Strategy Session with me to identify which of the three keys of creating a successful business you are missing–Marketing, Mindset or Manifesting principles–and IMMEDIATE steps to take so you can get more clients and make a difference in more lives!
Your partner in success,
Marketing, Mindset & Manifesting Coach