Issue #16: 7 Ways to Not Lower Yourself to Your Client's Concerns

There's always one in every bunch.

Grab a cup of java- I'm about to get real up in here chatting about having some tough talks with your clients. For the most part, being a Certified Business Strategist, Published Author and having two successful business is really super awesome and all that I'd dreamed it be. And for me, coaching entrepreneurs and authors is very rewarding, fun and just comes natural to me.

However, no matter what business you're in, but especially for those entrepreneurs in the industry of coaching- there will come a time when you'll have to have a tough talk with your clients just like I do.

You know the tough talks, I referring to-

  • A client might be overstepping their boundaries, not respecting your time, and you don’t quite know how to handle it. You’re starting to resent the client and you know you need to deal with it, but you keep putting it off.
  • A client writes to notify you they’re cancelling their coaching. You thought everything was going great. You want to know why they cancelled and possibly recover the client, but you aren’t sure quite how to ask without it sounding personal.
  • A potential client (perhaps someone you’ve met in person) express interest in working with you. They either aren’t ready yet or you know they’re not going to be a good fit. What do you say?
  • A client misses an appointment… again. You sit down to write an email to him, but you’re too frustrated to get the words right.
  • You knew that you never should have agreed to work with that client. You felt it when you did your intake call, but you needed the money so you decided to work with her anyway. Of course your gut was right and now you need to fire her. What do you say?

I call these types of people -Toxic Clients

It’s stressful and upsetting to deal with them. They can undermine your confidence, drain your energy with negativity and complaints, waste your time, tarnish your reputation and lose you money. But toxic clients don’t just come in one shape or size.

And what’s the difference between negativity and toxicity? Is toxicity always an emotional or communication issue? What about clients who don’t pay on time, who always argue about your prices and who have other behaviors that demonstrate their inability to value your expertise and time?

Don't get me wrong- I love chatting with people, but I hate chatting about this kind of stuff. Maybe it's the empathic side of me, but if you're like me..."It's uncomfortable".

Recently, thanks to the help of one of my business coaches and friend, I realized I had to become more of a "Badass Boss" in my business when it came to giving away my time to prospects that were not valuing my time or free content as much as I was.

Why did I not notice this before?

I didn't pay attention to this before because was too busy trying to help them come up out of their situation (I went down to their level.) I allowed my empathetic mind to distract my logical business mind from staying laser focused and bringing them up to my level. What happened instead? I was just hanging around with them in their Hot Ass Mess excuses instead of bringing them up to my level (I allowed them to control my process.)

I knew I had to change what I was doing. The more time I was wasting on those people that were not sure, delaying, missing appointments, etc. the more I was missing opportunities with serious entrepreneurs that were ready to Kickass paying in full and showing-up to do the work!

So, I decided to think about it in this manner- each time I allowed a prospect attempt to devalue or abuse my time i.e. constantly rescheduling meetings or questioning my authority...I remembered what was really happening- I was allowing them to take away precious hours I could've been using with my family vacationing, having dinner, exploring ME time or whatever.

And that made it easier for me to not allow it to happen anymore!

I decided to take back control of my business (value my self-worth, time, etc.) and not operate primarily from an empathetic mind. Don't get me wrong, I still sympathize with the prospective client- it's just now....

I utilized some awesome advice I received from Catlin Padgett who happens to be a really great Certified Life Coach for women struggling with alcohol (a definite Badass in her own right). And she's a business coach for the Publicity and Marketing Strategist of the century Selina Soo - (which is the common interest of how we initially met.) I was chatting with Catlin about discovery sessions one day and she told me...

"Don't Lower Yourself to Their Concern, Stand Tall!"

I get chills every time I think about it -it was so profound when she said that to me. But also funny, because we both started laughing out loud and saying, 'Whoa this is pretty cool'. Basically, she called me out on being too nice to prospective clients in regards to my discovery sessions. She told me, she could see I had no confidence issues with regards to my offers, results, etc. - I just needed to be more of a "Badass" when it came to chatting with prospects and holding them accountable.

And she was soooo right.

I have no problem holding my paying clients accountable for their weekly Kickass Goals because they've stepped up and invested. But, I wasn't holding my prospective clients accountable for valuing my time and authority.

What Catlin told me wasn't earth shattering, but it was a clear confirmation that I needed to do things differently. You see, what Catlin said to me was very similar to what my Peak Performance Business Coach, Zach Dixon said to me during one of our weekly coaching sessions- just in a much more in your face kind of way... that only he can get away it saying to me :.)

So, I put on my big gurl panties and decided to re-enforce my business with processes that make me feel good about myself, my decisions and allows me to work with people that light me up and not suck my energy. But better than that- I created a process that allows me to NOT feel guilty or weird for holding my prospective clients accountable in regards to my business practices (it's my business after all- if I don't care who will.)

Based on my experience with those prospective tough talks- I decided to make the situation a bit easier for me to handle in-case anything else should pop up like that again. And WOW so glad I did that! This process I'm going to share with you helps me to easily and without stress or feeling weird to have that tough talks with my prospective or current clients about a lot of uncomfortable topics.

I share my 11 Tough Talk strategies exclusively with my private clients inside of my Tell Toxic Clients to Kick Rocks coaching program. I cover everything from talking about cancellations, missed appointments, questioning your authority, rate increases, credit card matters, termination and more.

Tell Clients to Kick Rocks is an 8 Week Coaching experience designed to help entrepreneurs have those Tough Talks and how to manage difficult client situations successfully, easily and confidently. You discover what works, what doesn’t work, when to lose them and how to head them off before they enter your online or offline door. Receive clear-cut proven strategies to handle toxic clients so you can restore your energy, regain your peace of mind and be ready and refreshed to serve the sort of clients you really enjoy helping. 

Here are 7 Ways I Tell Toxic Clients to Kick Rocks.

If you want to know how to have Tough Talks and Tell Your Toxic Clients Kick Rocks [Click Here] so you can receive this Exclusive 8 Week Coaching experience and private coaching with me for $500.

  • #1 It's OK to Tell Your Story: If you find yourself dealing with toxic clients on a regular basis, it's a big red flag that your story (message) may be too broad. Get laser focused with your story before you tell it.
  • #2 It's Not You - Oh Wait Yes It Is: The client (in most cases) is just incredibly unhappy and frustrated in their own lives- remember the situation has nothing to do with you personally.
  • #3 Tell the Client to Kick Rocks: Ignore or redirect the toxic energy and turn it into a positive strategy.
  • #4 What's Really Up: Sometimes the cause of the toxicity is outside your control, but you may find that a small change on your part could greatly improve the situation. 
  • #5 I'm Gonna Need for You -To Take a Step Back: Toxic clients will take advantage of every opportunity to share their frustration and anger. Be sure to set clear boundaries.
  • #6 Can You Hear Me Now: Sometimes nothing else works but that one-on-one call to clearly spell out the issues you have with a toxic client’s disruptive behavior. 
  • #7 Bless Your Heart: And then there's times when you can't solve stupid and you have to just let them go and sit in their Hot Ass Mess. 

DID YOU FIND THIS HELPFUL?

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Did you realize that as a Certified Business Strategist, I coach entrepreneurs and authors on these very topics? 

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