You can’t do what your clients want you to do when doing so hurts them.
From the very first time you interact with your dream client, they will try to avoid taking the actions necessary to produce better results. They’ll tell you they are happy when they aren’t, to check back in the next quarter, or to email them information. Their concern is that you will waste their time and when you give up and go away it is proof that they are correct. If you can help them produce better results, you must persist, ask again, and help them agree to a meeting.
When you are engaged with your prospective client, they will want you to provide them with a proposal and pricing before you have done the work of collaborating with them to build a solution that works. They’ll want you to make it easy on them and transact, emailing them a proposal and pricing, even when doing so doesn’t serve them.
You will have clients that don’t want to engage anyone else on their team in the change initiative you are working on together. They’ll want you to work with them and them alone, leaving out the people who will be affected by the decision who will be served by your solution. They won’t want to go through the messy exercise of building consensus, without which they will struggle to produce results.
Many if not most of your dream clients won’t want to invest the money necessary to produce the results they need. They’ll want the better results, but they’ll believe the big lie that they are entitled to better, faster, and cheaper (even though there is no such offering, nor has there ever been one that checked all three of these boxes). They’ll want you to provide a discount and help them take money out of their solution.
Some of your prospects won’t want to have difficult conversations. They won’t want to talk about the issues that are inherent in their business, preferring instead to ignore them and hope that nothing bad happens to them. They will want you to avoid talking about the people on their team that refuse to execute, as well as the systemic changes they need to make. They will want you to avoid the hard stuff, the difficult changes they know they need to make (and that they have been aware of for years).
If you care about your clients, you won’t give them what they want, you will help them with what they need. You need the courage to go first. You need the skillful means necessary to address what needs to be addressed. You need to care enough to do what is right, not what is easy.
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Filed under: Sales Acumen