Difficult Clients, Eh? [VIDEO]
We all know how hard it is to understand a client’s needs and objectives. Most of us have experienced the frustration of working with a difficult client or of working on a project that has vague goals or little feedback or support.
This why it is so important to know how to educate your customers in order to help them achieve their goals, so youhave a clear modus operandi.
But how do we succeed in doing this? And what exactly do I mean by “educate your client”?
Watch the video below (it’s under 5 minutes) or read the summary below to see what I’m talking about…
Have you ever had a difficult client?
You know, that person who didn’t pay on time or didn’t know what he wanted, who didn’t show up on time to a meeting or do what was required on his part.
A web developer on one of my programs told me recently: “I don’t need more clients. I have more than enough. But I do want better clients, because most of my clients don’t know what they want, which makes them difficult to work with.”
The reason why those clients end up being difficult is because a lot of entrepreneurs, freelancers, coaches and consultants don’t know how to select their clients – they just take whatever work comes their way.
There are many business owners who fall into the trap of rushing to sell, and quickly becoming blocked when they are faced with what appears to be an uncooperative client.
There are 2 simple steps you can take:
Step #1. Select your clients
You can do this by putting barriers in place and only accepting the type of client you’ve identified as a person/company who will be a pleasure to work with.
Maybe you’re thinking: “Okay, but all my clients are difficult! I’ll go out of business if I start turning them down.”
Then you may benefit from educating your clients, which leads me to the next step.
Step #2. Educate your (potential) clients
Educational marketing (or Goodwill Marketing) is one of the most effective ways to reach tough potential clients. The idea behind educational marketing is quite simple:
Say something useful (that is, educative) to your listener (that is your potential client or someone that recommends your offering to their friends) and they would open up and start paying attention to you, so they will then hear what you have to offer.
This is something you do before you start working with your clients – especially if you deliver a service (like web design/development or copy writing) or a complex product that needs comprehensive explanation prior to making the purchase decision.
For services in particular, you need to tell your clients what the work will involve, because they usually don’t know. You also need to tell them what you expect (and that includes your payment terms).
Steps to educating your clients
Here’s a practical example for a web design business of how to educate your clients in advance:
- Have a set list of questions about the client’s strategy
To create a successful website, you need to know its objective. There are all sorts of objectives one can have (to generate leads, to sell, to share information, to build a reputation, to bring traffic…). Both you and the client need to nail this down before you can do your job properly and smoothly.
- Incorporate your product/service into the client’s business and structure so that it fulfills the objective
This is discussed in a strategic meeting with your client before you start programming or designing the website.
- Step it up a notch
Get the client to think through the next steps – thinking ahead will help you deliver a near flawless product. For example: what steps would the client like visitors to take when they get to the website? What should happen next?
You want to set up this journey in advance for your client because it will help you deliver a better product/service (a website, in our example) and satisfy your client’s objective.
By taking the client from where they are, to where they want to be – and clarifying the steps in between – you may find that your “difficult” clients become that much easier to work with. Taking this approach will also save you invaluable time and energy (which saves you money too) as it gives you a clear path to successfully completing the project.
What is YOUR next step?
Would you like to educate your clients as your first step towards increasing your sales and becoming a leader in your niche?
Then follow the steps presented in this Fast Track Implementation Plan on Goodwill Marketing to increase the power of the brand in the eyes of your (potential) clients so more people come your way, and you, of course, increase your sales with ease.