Wherever you are in the world, whatever your industry or expertise level, you are going to come across difficult clients who are resistant to change.
The issues may be blatantly obvious to you – but no matter how vehemently you point them out, the client doesn’t budge. They insist they know their business, their clients, their quality, etc. They’re right, you’re wrong. The end.
What now? Do you just write them off?
No! (And if you have that luxury, then we all applaud you!)
When it comes to getting a client (or anyone for that matter) to see your point of view, and adjust their behavior, remember this:
Someone is only going to change when the pain of staying as they are is greater than the fear of change.
In other words, our brains are wired to keep us safe. And change feels dangerous.
A stubborn client is likely a scared one. It’s up to you to gently but diligently open their eyes to why the change you are proposing is necessary and urgent… How?
There are 4 key components to making a change:
Without any one of these factors, you or your client will ultimately go nowhere. If you can’t see you have a problem, you won’t be able to change it. If you don’t want to change it…you won’t! And even if you know you have a problem and want to change but lack resolve and urgency… then, frankly, you’ll just be miserable. And most likely fail as a business.
To a client, the problem might look like “I’m losing money.” But you and I both know that that problem comes from some other mitigating factor…whether that’s bad branding, poor price point, underspending on marketing, bad workflows, etc.
So, you must start by fully understanding your client’s objective and obstacles by asking questions.
Once you have a clear image of what your client needs and what you can do for them, then use questions to help them Recognize why what you’ve identified is the real source of the problem, and to instill Desire, Commitment, and Urgency to change it.
Don’t get me wrong, the change will still seem scary! But by compassionately and patiently managing your client, they will feel understood – thereby building trust and loyalty. As long as you deliver on your plan, then you will have a client for life.
How do you deal with difficult customers? Do you have communication techniques that helped in the past?
Beate Chelette is The Growth Architect & Founder of The Women’s Code, a training company specialized in providing companies an ROI on Balanced Leadership. She has been named one of 50 must-follow women entrepreneurs by the Huffington Post. A first-generation immigrant who found herself $135,000 in debt as a single parent, she bootstrapped her passion for photography into a highly-successful global business and eventually sold it to Bill Gates in a multimillion-dollar deal.
Beate works with business leaders and supports organizations by developing and providing training the training, tools, and expertise to create and maintain a balanced, equal, and inclusive work environment that fosters creativity, employee engagement, and corporate growth.
Recent clients include Merck, Women’s Legislative Caucus of California, Cal State University Dominguez Hills, Small Business Development Centers (SBDC), NFTE, CreativeLive, the Association of Corporate Growth, and TracyLocke.
Beate is the author of the #1 International Amazon Bestseller “Happy Woman Happy World – How to Go From Overwhelmed to Awesome” a book that corporate trainer and best-selling author Brian Tracy calls “a handbook for every woman who wants health, success and a fulfilling career.
To book Beate to speak or train please connect here. Your Time Is Valuable!