I’m at the point where I won’t work with a client who doesn’t have urgency behind their desire.
There is a big difference between:
“I’d love to have this but if it doesn’t work out, oh well”
“I have no choice but to create this because if I don’t there are real consequences.”
If we don’t have urgency we won’t do what it takes. We will take the easier path. We will put things off.
If there aren’t any consequences attached to the things we want then we simply won’t stretch ourselves to the place we need to go to create success (anything new does require stretching!)
This isn’t a reflection on the person – it’s simply human nature and we are all wired this way! (It’s easy to say that I’d love to lose 20 pounds but truthfully it’s not that urgent – so I don’t do what it takes to make it happen.)
Always explore urgency with a potential client! Ask them why they want to make the change they are making now. Ask them what the cost is if they don’t make this change now? What if they did nothing and were in the same place next year – how would they feel?
Pay attention to their answers – look to hear and feel the urgency. If they don’t really want it or it’s not really that important you need to be willing to say no to them (even if they want to work with you!)
You can’t want it more for them than they want it for themselves. I see this happen all the time, and it simply doesn’t work. People say they want something and you decide to work with them, but there is no urgency so one of two things happens:
1) They don’t take any action, which leaves you both frustrated (and you feeling totally disempowered because you really want to help!)
2) They blame you or the program for not working, which again leaves you both feeling frustrated (and could have you questioning your value!)
Bottom line is – if there is no urgency have the courage to say no to that client, even if they are willing to spend the money.
If you want something but can never seem to make it happen – explore your urgency. Be honest with yourself – are there any consequences if you don’t create what you want? Do you have an exit door or safety net of some kind that makes it OK if it doesn’t happen?
If something is important enough you may need to create your own urgency:
- Fire a client who no longer serves you, so you can create space for the client who will.
- Make an investment that goes beyond your comfort level – spending money you can’t afford to lose. <– I did this just last week!
- Presell something so that you have no choice but to create it, because people have paid and are waiting for it! <– One of my favorite strategies
Yes, urgency is uncomfortable and that is where the magic happens… for us and our clients.
I’m curious how you’ve seen this play out for your clients? And yourself? Comment below and let me know…
The timing of this article is perfect! I have two clients that have been draining because the things we planned are no longer their priorities so I feel like I’m spinning my wheels with them. I am preparing to fire them both! I have a sense of urgency for my business and as you mentioned, I can’t want their business to succeed more than they do. I launched a new service that wasn’t put together to force myself to get it ready and I felt so accomplished when it was ready to go! Too bad all of my clients can’t be the same way.
It is frustrating Shannon – have you asked them what their current priorities are? It’s worth having an open conversation from the perspective of “hey dear client – I wanted to touch base re: our priorities. When we started the goal was to do A, B, C and that has now changed… I want to make sure i’m aware of what is important to you to in the next 3 -6 months to make sure I can support you.”…
I have tried that with both of them. Sadly, despite setting priorities more than once and my efforts to keep things on track they keep going off the rails.
Then it becomes a matter of who you want to work with – or not. As per my comment below to Renate, you ultimately get to decide if you want to continue working with someone who can’t keep their promises and keeps changing their minds. It’s a hard decision to make, especially when you like the person!
That’s exactly what I’m struggling with at the moment Tina! I’ve got super interesting and lovely clients. They help people with awareness, about their business, body, health, personal life, and they’re SO talented! But once in a while, it seems like it’s their second prio. They’re not focused, distracted by … I don’t know… buying another expensive coaching program for new insights (MORE?! We’ve got hundreds we still haven’t worked out), interessting online techniques, family things, moon is full, … during our pre launchmeetings they say: yeah… let’s go for a million dollar launch, I’ll write 4 blogs and give you everything you need, we’ve got plenty of time, put it in Asana and I’ll deliver! And after that.. silence. They NEED the money, I know… but they’re drowning in stuff I can’t help them with… and some are even avoiding me then. I feel like it’s all my fault…
Everybody’s got their off days, but it happens a lot when it has to count. In the middle of a launch or even just before their online program starts. And sometimes I have to fix things just the night before.
I know I have to be more strict but that’s kinda hart to do that, because I understand what it. I confront them with it and they send me flowers to apologise (yes, they ARE so sweeet). I warn them for next launch.. but it all… happens all over again 8-/
Sorry, I don’t want to whine, but just needed to get it out 😉
That’s not whining Renate – it’s a real frustration! And it sounds like you are having some open conversations with your clients around this. I’m curious if you want to keep working with these clients? There is nothing wrong with simply saying to someone that it doesn’t make sense to keep working together if these projects aren’t a priority. And to gracefully give notice if need be – or to give it another go.
You can’t make them do their part, but you can certainly decide what your role will be. And I hear that you feel bad and wouldn’t want to let them down, but the fact is they are letting you down every time they promise to do something and don’t complete their part in it.
You hit the nail on the head, Tina! There were instances in the past when I was so excited to get started on tasks and projects that I just know would help my clients, but sometimes the reaction would be so lukewarm, it’s disheartening!
It is totally disheartening when that happens! I agree…
What if your spouse doesn’t believe in your business so making the investment beyond your comfort level (almost any investment really) causes extreme tension in the household?
Great question Cassandra – and this is actually a great sign of urgency. If you can come to agreement with your spouse re: an action step/investment and what result you are committed to achieving, then the ‘urgency’ is that you don’t want to break the commitment to your spouse. You don’t want to let that person down. And I know this can be tough, especially when a spouse isn’t on board with what you want to create… but there is nothing better to change their mind than for them to see a result.