Should you ever turn down a client?
It might seem strange to turn down clients after you’ve put so much effort into finding them. Lead generation is time-consuming after all and to actually have a prospect on the phone, credit card in hand and ready to buy from you is an amazing accomplishment, but have you ever considered that you shouldn’t take them on as a client?
When we’re in need of cash flow to keep our business running, we can feel under pressure to take on any client willing to pay.
But does that mean they are right for us, or perhaps more importantly – we are right for them?
I would propose not taking them on, and often I will say no. Sometimes I wonder if I am doing it out of laziness as they seem like a difficult person to work with or it would be too much effort, but actually, this is just a distraction from the truth.
Sometimes, clients aren’t ready for me to write their LinkedIn profile. Their ideas aren’t developed enough, and therefore, I won’t be able to provide for them the full value that I know I can. Sometimes, they need more time to develop their ideas and put stronger foundations down in their business. If the person is in the right place, then I know my 6-month intensive coaching is the right package as we’ll work these things out together. Other times, I know the individual needs more time to think about the ideas and work independently. In this case, I’ll invite them to take my online course.
For me, the key is to make sure that the client has the right package for them, and sometimes this means forfeiting a sale that I really need. However, I know all too well that if I feel it is wrong, every time I work with them, I will feel guilty about pushing them into something they weren’t ready for. Plus, working together will likely be strained and they won’t end up with the results they needed and/or it’ll take longer and end up costing me in the end.
I think this is what it means to be an expert. I often talk about being the ‘Go to’ person in your industry and being an ‘expert’. Often this can bring up within people the idea of shouting about how great you are and self-promotion.
Actually, I think the opposite is true.
I believe being an expert is about being in service to your prospects and clients alike. It’s about being someone they trust to give them real and honest advice, whether they are paying for it or not. It is to serve them by helping them make the right decision for themselves at the right time. If you feel it isn’t right for them, then you are right. You are after all the expert!
The key to being an expert is to know you are an expert and trust it. This means trusting that the clients you need to build your business will show up, and to turn down those you know aren’t ready to work with you, or who you won’t enjoy working with. It is to add value and know that as you do, more people will talk about you. Especially those who didn’t buy.
Excellent service providers who trust in their own abilities don’t need to use manipulative sales tactics.
They don’t have to because their reputation succeeds them and they are highly respected, and in my experience, respect is developed faster when you come into service to others and allow them to use their own intuition and trust their own judgement. Then, the value you have provided them multiplies tenfold as they tell others about you and your name and reputation spreads.