Ever wish you could channel your inner Donald Trump and shout those words at one of your clients?
You are not alone.
Yet so many entrepreneurs fear the word “No”. We’re taught early on that the customer is always right. We worry that telling a client no will sever the relationship forever costing our business thousands of dollars. We fear that by cutting one person loose from our business will mean lost connections to other people and opportunities.
We fear that the sky will fall, and everything we’ve worked for will crumble to the ground.
But what we *should* fear is totally different…
Common Sense Isn’t All That Common
You’re a reasonable person.
You know not to call your employees, (or even your mom) after a certain time at night.
You know not to text, email, call, send a telegraph, or flash Morse code into the sky over and over again unless there’s something really, truly urgent (there rarely is).
You know that things like family time, bike rides, weddings, births, hitting the gym, or eating lunch is sometimes a little bit more important than what you’ve got going on, so getting a response might not happen immediately.
You’re so reasonable that you expect others will have the same common sense expectations of you when they sign on the dotted line.
*Reality check* They won’t!
Clients who hand over their hard earned money expect a lot out of you. Although most people are smart enough to respect your boundaries and know that your universe does not revolve around their every need… there will always be the few who just don’t get it.
Setting the Expectations Up Front
To keep these people out, there are a few ways to manage expectations so you never have to mutter that dreaded two-letter word – “no”.
- In your contract – In the proposal you send over, and the contract you draft for your client, you might include stipulations to avoid the client taking advantage of your kindness.For example, I put in all of my contracts that I only offer two revisions to webpages. The reason? To save both the client and myself time in the long run.Clients that don’t have a clear direction on their project are not ready to craft the message on their website. Seems obvious, but it’s not. Before I set this expectation, I had too many clients ask me to write their homepage, and then shift directions completely to target a brand new audience. It was an enormous waste of my time, and theirs trying to scrap what was already created and start fresh. The problem? They only paid once, while I tripled the amount of time I spent on that task. Lesson learned!
- In your price – Let’s be honest – you’ve got some pretty stellar skills and products to offer, don’t you? They’re so great, in fact, that you put a lot of yourself into creating every thing you ship to the public. If you gave away the goods for free, you’d be overwhelmed with demand from ungrateful people and your business wouldn’t have a shot at succeeding.One of the ways to set the expectation for clients up front is to price your product or service as fairly as possible. The people who think you charge too much would never appreciate what you have to offer. The people who see you as being so ridiculously amazing at what you do won’t mind paying a little bit extra to get a piece of you.Charging what you’re worth is not only fair, it is necessary. When you charge a fair price, you keep the bad apples out of the bunch, allowing yourself the pleasure of working with people that respect what you have to offer.
- In your behavior – Trying to go the extra mile for your client? That’s mighty kind of you! But in some cases, you’ll run into the person who expects you to go 13.1 extra miles for them and suddenly, you’re running a half marathon for one client, and stealing away time and energy from the other people you serve.As mentioned, there are plenty of people in this world who try to push their limits and suck as much out of you as they can. You don’t mind helping out so you graciously go above and beyond once or twice. Soon, this becomes the norm and the clients are demanding more and more from you without an ounce of appreciation.Lead by example. Let clients know when they can contact you through their behavior. For example, don’t be afraid to decline a phone call or not check an email at 10 p.m. on a Saturday night. Your client will more than likely understand why you waited to respond. If they don’t then… it may be time to fire them!
- On your website – You might be doing all of this already. You might already have clear rules laid out in your contracts, and you might already avoid engaging in unnecessary behavior with your clients. Still, this type of person slips through your door and lands in your inbox asking to do business with you.How FRUSTRATING!You don’t have time to waste on these types of people. You are busy enough! Weeding out poor quality leads and turning away people you don’t want to work with shouldn’t take up more of the precious hours in your day.
The solution lies in the copy on your website. Good copy sells. Exceptional copy is magnetic. It attracts the right people to your business while keeping the wrong ones out so you can save yourself hours of stress, hassle, and having to say “no”.
Through your website, you should lay out the welcome mat for the people you love working with! At the same time, this welcome mat should turn away the people that don’t mesh well with your business. When you do this really well, you’ll save yourself time, energy, and resources dealing with the wrong types of clients.
How well does your website work for your business? Is it keeping people out? Or have you set your messaging up to target EVERYONE and their mother?
That’s not a trick question, but it is a tough one to answer – especially for entrepreneurs new to the world of writing sales copy and website content. You might know that your website isn’t written very well because the same bad clients keep knocking on your door – so where do you change that? How do you fix it?
The answer lies in a free website audit. No sleazy sales (I hate that!), no demands to work with me (hey, I’ll tell you up front if we’re not a good fit!), none of that nonsense. Just real information to help you get more out of your business.