I mean no disrespect, but your clients are like dogs and should be treated as such. When they come bounding up to your business with their big hopeful eyes, wet noses and wagging tails, don’t be fooled.
They don’t just want a friendly scratch on the tummy and a piggy treat. They want discipline, direction, firm guidance and total authority from the master (that’s you).
They want to be able to lie down in the sun and kick their dreaming little legs knowing that you’re taking care of where their next meal is coming from.
You don’t ask a dog what’s going to happen today. You don’t ask a dog for their opinions on your strategy. You simply throw them in the back of the car and they trust that you’ll take them to a great place. There’ll be no complaining when they’re at the beach frolicking in the sand.
People don’t buy a tummy rub, well not from their business consultant. They buy confidence. They buy certainty. They buy low risk. They buy a master.
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Deep down, clients want to be led, not to lead.
They pay you to tell them how it is in no uncertain terms. Otherwise why are you there? If you can make their life easy, they’ll be loyal and generous with their affection and, more importantly, their money.
The basic commands you need to learn are pretty simple:
Heel! “I’m the expert. I’ve done this 1000 times before. I know best.”
Sit! “Okay, are you ready to see the quote?”
Stay! “I’m not getting out of this chair until you’ve paid your deposit.”
Roll over! “This may cost a little more than first estimated.”
Beg! “This may also take a lot longer than I first thought.”
Shake hands! “You agree to all my terms and conditions even if you don’t understand them.”
Don’t get me wrong. I’m a real dog lover. But, of course, you do find some that are beautifully natured, and others that are mangy yappy little things that need a new owner.
Clients and dogs are not exactly the same. Clients won’t end up being your best friend, they won’t stick loyally by your side for 15 years and their necks aren’t as flexible.
One other thing. If you answer a client enquiry and hear purring on the end of the line, drop the phone and run for your life. They don’t want a master, they want a servant.
Remember that with clients you’re the task master. They’ll love it. You’ll love it. And everyone will end up wagging their tails.