1 step to satisfying every client

You know that pain in the ass client… ?

I have good news and bad news…

Good News: you’re not alone.

Bad News: it’s your fault.

bad sales

OK, that may sound a little harsh, but even when the client is dead wrong in the middle of an argument  – they’re still arguing that they are right… because they believe they are.

Decades of marriage has taught me that convincing someone that I am right (on the basis that they are wrong) is… without purpose or result. You can talk until you’re both blue in the face – and if someone doesn’t have the tools to comprehend what you’re saying (understand what you mean – behind the words you use), and translate how their actions and opinions should be adjusted to match up with the truth they haven’t been able to recognize without my words guiding them – is not going to happen in the time we have for our typical business conversation.

This is the “pulling off the band-aid” part. It’s your fault that the client is a pain, but this can be fixed in 1 step…

1. Clarify Expectations and charge for “Add-ons”

First; I realize that sounds like two steps, but it really is one. This one step is certainly easier said than done. One of the most painful things any good salesperson does (at least initially painful) – is clearly and with no fuzziness communicate what you will (and will not) do. The risk here (at least internally) is that I am afraid that I’m going to lose this client if I don’t do whatever they ask and if I lose too many I’ll go out of business and the sky will fall. That is not the case… and if your business is in jeopardy of failure (unless you do more than you’re contracted) – you need to change your pricing or profession.

SMB marketing target

I can say with no reservation that if your business is hinged on providing services or products that are not a part of your scope of work – you may struggle through a career of “making ends meet”, but you will never enjoy the fruit that is supposed to accompany sales (or running a business), because you’re not selling. You’re being your client’s bitch. That may be directly tied to the oldest profession in the world, but it’s never been said to be the most enjoyable, sustainable or enjoyable profession in the world.

Don’t prostitute your expertise (just because your client is willing to ask for freebies more often than you are willing to repeat your pricing.

Answer the following questions with each client, write it down and have them sign it (and this will be your Scope of Work on each client moving forward). You can, alternatively, put together actual contracts signed by you and each of your clients that look professional, but make sure you clearly list the following information:

  • what am I promising to do for/provide to you?   (as the one being paid)
  • what are you promising to give me? (as the one paying)
  • clear and agreed-upon timelines (I recommend repeating this at least once for clarity’s sake)

It’s actually that easy. Agree on what you’re each doing (as well as expected timelines). Do this and you have a client contract – go get more.