Do You Worry About Upsetting Your Clients? Or do you push them to Uncomfortable Success?

Do you worry about upsetting your clients and “walk softly”?

Or are you comfortable challenging your coaching clients?

Do You Try to Make Clients Happy by Bending a Little

I can remember when I believed that in order to get or keep clients I felt that I had to “make them happy” all of the time. Therefore, when they challenged me, sometimes they would disagree with what I had challenged them to do, and frequently they would tell me that they know their business better than I do.

Then I’d “walk softly” and frequently would be afraid to push them further, or to challenge my coaching clients.

Or do you Challenge Your Clients to Reach Further, Even to Uncomfortable Levels

Let me tell you that it is when you are “the expert” that you HAVE to challenge your clients. As long as you are really right, you MUST challenge them, and be strong enough to do so.

The biggest problems your clients will have are “their internal beliefs” that limit their move toward success. Frequently when you push them toward the answers they need, they will refuse to go there since it just doesn’t fit with their current beliefs.

It is their current beliefs that have limited their progress, and that was why they needed you, to challenge them to overcome those beliefs. If you don’t challenge them, and you allow them to remain in their comfort zone, you aren’t becoming the coach that you must be to take them to the levels they hired you for.

In fact, my goal is to always take my clients MUCH FURTHER than they hired me for. That means reaching even further beyond comfort levels that hold them back.

Choose Your Clients Carefully

And one more thing, IF you have chosen your clients carefully, qualified them as your IDEAL client, you will have less of that, but when you do they will listen. For the right clients, you should be able to have an very open, and honest discussion about why you challenge them on their beliefs. And they will follow your recommendations.

It is when you have “accepted any type of client” that you frequently get what I call “bottom of the pile” types. And it is important for you to realize that there is a reason those types constantly lose, and rarely succeed. It is their beliefs that keep them losers. And when you give them new beliefs, they will still tell you “that won’t work for me.”

Lead your clients to the answer they want.

In any case, it was when I learned that if I was going to “coach” someone, I had to be the leader, not the follower in order to be a successful coach. It was clients who challenged me, and wouldn’t follow that I lost and who were unhappy. The ones that followed, SAW measurable results and begged for more.

A Client who said they wouldn’t follow, but who agreed to TRY IT, who saw a 10,000 times increase

Believe me, I have had some clients who refused to follow me. I can remember a CEO of a fairly large company up in New York City who told me that they had lost almost all of their business right after 9/11. Their website was no longer bringing them any clients. So we reviewed the website, and I suggested several changes. Well, for the next 30 days or so she kept saying that although she understood what I said, she still wanted the website to have the look and feel she originally had, which couldn’t be done if we were going to be successful.

So, by the end of the month, I told her “I can help you if you are willing to follow my recommendations, but if you want to make it look the way that doesn’t work, then I can’t help, and we should probably go our separate ways.”

This was the first client that I actually had the guts to challenge them to change, or I’d give her her money back and we should split. However, I did convince her to work with me for 30-60 days and then we’ll measure the real results. And she also told me that if I could help her get even ONE new customer a month she’d be extremely happy.

Well, this was interesting. In the first 30 days she had acquired 300 new clients. Not the ONE that would pay my fee, but 300.

By the end of month 2, she had acquired another 600 that month, and by the end of month 3 she had acquired 1,500 that month.

And that was when I shocked her by saying, “Well, now are you ready to seriously turn this on?”

You see, we were still “testing” a few things in her marketing, and now that we had found some critical things, all we had to do was crank the search engines up to bring her several times more than that.

After that month she had increased her sales by $80,000 a day.

However, ever have a client who was happy with working with you, but wants to go back to what they originally had? She was extremely satisfied with the extra $80,000 a day, however, she still wanted the website to look and feel like it did before, in other words, that belief about what she thinks it should look like is overriding the reality of the HUGE increase in clients and revenue.

So, every month for the next year, she would ask about going back. And every month I’d have to re-educate her about what attracts her clients. In any case, at the end of the year, I got a call that she had hired a major Manhattan marketing firm to redo her website. I told her that if she wants to go back to that website, she will very likely lose the number of clients a month she was getting.

And 20 days later, she calls back very upset “that I had let her make that huge mistake.” She had gone from over 10,000 a month of new clients to 5 for the month. And that was with a TOP Manhattan marketing firm that cost her almost $100,000.  And here I was charging her a LOT less than that for the whole year we had worked together.

At that point, I told her that I hoped that she enjoys her new marketing approach, and that I can’t help her if she’s going that direction. Well, 6 months later, and lots of calls from her to help her get back to the steady flow of 10’s of thousands of new clients, after I got her to agree to change to “what works” and make a serious commitment to follow my recommendations, she hired me back.

I had to learn that I had to have a serious commitment from my clients that they would work with me, and follow recommendations. That doesn’t mean that they have to do what I say without fail, it means that we must work together to find the answers that work for them.

Require your clients to BE COMMITTED to making changes that get BIG NEW results

From that point forward, I require that new clients sign a commitment that they will at least try out the recommendations we develop together, and work together to improve it every step.

We can talk it through if they are committed to getting their results, and working through their levels of discomfort. They learn that anything that takes them to new levels will frequently be uncomfortable, and they don’t believe in. After all, they are working at their level of success because that seemed right, and comfortable. In order to move beyond that, moves to a level of discomfort.

On occasion I still have to remind a client, but as long as we are measuring the new results they get, and those results are leaping upward by many times, everyone is happy.

If you have had several clients, ask yourself if you have a client that doesn’t follow through, and do you challenge him to act on the recommendations, and does he come back with measurable results that the two of you can work on to constantly improve by leaps and bounds.


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