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How to Partner with Your Clients and Never Say No
How to Partner with Your Clients and Never Say No - BQE Software
Take every situation and turn it into an opportunity.
Stop saying no! Instead, say, “Here's what we can do..."
I'll be honest. I've had my fill of professionals who want to bring the hammer down just so we know who's in control. A client will ask them something, perhaps completely innocently, not knowing that they are asking a lot. The ask goes way outside the scope of services the professional has clearly defined in their service agreement or engagement letter. So, how dare this client ask for this without offering to pay more?
The Power of "No."
No is a great answer when someone is offering you a product or service that merely represents a distraction. An answer of "no" will help keep you focused.
The Power of "Yes."
Yes is a great answer to give when it comes to clients. It tells them that you are their partner and you are there to help them, no matter what.
An answer of yes can come in many forms. For example, if you are offering consulting services, and a client is asking you for help that goes beyond that, you can say yes--but with a qualification.
Don't say no. Say, "Here's what we can do," or, "Let's do this." These are great phrases that put you and your client/prospect in the right mindset. Now you have set the stage for laying out a plan. Give your client a plan for how you can help give them what they want, and then give them a quote for it.
Let's say your services are really designed for training or coaching, and not consulting. When your client asks for something that sounds more like consulting, don't say no. Say, "Here's what I can do."
Then lay it out in a training context. You might say something like this:
"Instead of our current monthly plan at $500/month, I can increase the scope to weekly meetings, logged in remotely, where we can work together on this. I can answer questions and give you guidance each week while we share screens, so we can dig deep, and get real specific."
Now you've laid the foundation for how you're going to give the client a ton of added value (i.e., weekly meetings, logged in remotely, etc.). Next, you'd give them the price. Then you'd pile more value on top like this:
“I just need you to sign up for an upgraded plan at $2,500/month. Once you've signed up, I will also add you to a private Slack Team, where you can get unlimited support, and ask all the questions you want. This is in addition to the monthly remote session, which, by the way will be recorded (using Zoom) and that recording provided to you so you can review it whenever you like. Here’s the link to sign up: [insert link here]”
That last part is the close. If you are on the phone, then that last part is what you say before you go silent. You give them the link to sign up and then you shut up!
You say something like this:
“Let's do this. The minute we hang up/end this call, I will e-mail you a link where you can sign up for this. Once you've signed up, I will get you on my calendar for next week. Then we'll establish our weekly meeting times. Okay?”
Now you let the client/prospect respond. Hopefully, they will say, "Yeah, great!" If they have questions, that is a good thing. It means they are listening and are interested, but they just need to be clear on what you are offering and what they are paying for. Get them clear. And then after each of their questions, repeat the close with something like this:
"Should I send you the link, or did you have more questions?"
What did you just do?
For starters, you didn't turn off your client by saying"NO!"
Next, you offered them a solution.
Then, you more than quadrupled your revenue with the client. In the example above, you went from $500/month to $2,500/month--but look at the increase in value: Weekly meetings...Slack-based 24/7 support...recordings. Basically you are offering yourself as a partner to them to help them accomplish whatever needs to get done!
Now that's powerful.
If you're an architect, engineer, lawyer, accountant, or any other kind of professional, this model could work for you too. It's simple: When the client wants more communication, you give it to them--for a price.
So let the power-hungry professionals drop their hammers and establish control and their position of power. I'd rather quadruple my revenue while building relationships with clients who will then want to be clients for life! Not only that, they will rave about me to their friends and colleagues.
How about you? I'd love to read your comments below!