Shifting your business is hard work. You have to step outside your comfort zone, and embrace the uncertainty that comes with doing something new. For seasoned business consultants and coaches, it is incredibly difficult to shift from being an expert to learning a new process—which can bring up complex feelings of fear.
I work with consultants and coaches to help them navigate this uncertainty to share the best information and solutions to their clients. At first, it’s like jumping hurdles—they’re used to running, but now there are new obstacles they have to learn to leap over. They jump over a few initial objections and feel great. They are nervous about using new language, but ace the pitch meeting with the leadership team. It’s new territory, so the last hurdle of closing the sale seems impossibly high. When they eventually sprint to the finish line, they can’t believe they made it.
My clients are working with new tools—learning to integrate our performance development platform into their own businesses. They are taking the courageous leap to change their business model and provide even more value to their clients. The trouble is, when sharing something new with their clients, they get a little shy. By shifting their business, they are risking rejection, and so the hurdles in front of them seem to get taller and taller.
The solution that I give is simple: stop underestimating your clients!
Your clients are smart people. They already work with you right? They know you, trust you and value what you bring to them and their organization. They look to you as the expert in their development and growth. They know you would not offer them a sub-par solution. In fact, they trust you so much that they expect you to deliver the best solution possible.
Give it to them. Share the information on your new process or service package and let them decide. You made the leap to shift your business because you believe it will increase your impact with your clients. Present the facts, and trust that they will make the best decision for their business.
The worst thing that could happen is that they say no. You handle their objections and move on. The saying often holds true—timing is everything. Maybe they have other pressing priorities to address. Maybe you need to take the time to push them to think deeper about what they need, reposition your offering, and circle back next quarter. Schedule a few emails with additional resources, plan to arrange a call in a few months, and move on to the next client.
And if they say yes? Now what are you afraid of? That you need to deliver? That you need to represent as the expert they know you to be? Even if you are a little less confident than normal, the simple fact that you have built a solid relationship gives you the power to be transparent and share the risks and the pitfalls, and have the ‘we are in this together’ talk, which will cement your position as trusted advisor in their minds.
It’s time to stop second guessing your clients. They are looking to you to provide your best, always. Are you ready to do that?