Fear might be a good motivator, but it is a poor problem solver. Over the years, I’ve had to learn how to not be afraid of my clients. That is, I had to learn to not be afraid to ask for what I wanted. Honestly, what is there to be afraid of? They can always say no and, if they do say no, that just drops them down your client list.
I spent a lot of years being afraid of my clients. I didn’t ask for what I wanted because I was afraid that they would go somewhere else. I spent years and years trying not to do anything that might upset my clients. That is a crazy, ineffective way to live.
I had to completely change my mindset, thought process. I had to remember that people are people. Everybody has a role to play, an assignment to complete, and a job to do. These might be different from yours but, in the end, people are people. They have the same feelings, thoughts and emotions that you have.
If you can get outside of your own thoughts and start to look at things from the client’s perspective many things come to light. You don’t have to beg and you don’t have to bend over backwards, there is a better way to ask for what you need.
I recently read the book Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss. Chris spent years as a hostage negotiator and one thing he emphasise is that the language you use when asking for something really makes the difference.
There is a strange human phenomenon that we like to say no. When you want them to say yes, you need to rephrase the question. The smallest difference in phrasing can change your results. Instead of asking “Can I …” try “Is there any reason…” The second phrasing let’s the answer be no. When it comes to clients, I was always fearful of asking because I was approaching people the wrong way.
When it comes to your business you can’t be afraid to ask for what you want and you can’t be afraid to tell your clients no sometimes too. Do they want to offer you $50 for cancelling that order that you’ve already put time into? Say no. They want something in the scope of work that you don’t want to include? Tell them no and maybe educate them in the process too.
Yes, you might risk losing a client here and there. It might happen, I won’t say that telling a client no or asking for something could lose you a client. Guess what, you’ll be okay losing that one client. It will simply create a place for new business.
For more information on this subject, please download and listen to The Appraiser Coach Podcast Episode: 468