I’ve worked with thousands of businesses over the years, from more traditional marketing firms to automotive companies to equine dentists. That’s right…I recently talked to a man named Jamie in Australia who does dental and bodywork on horses. Pretty cool gig, if you ask me.
Jamie’s main issue in growing his business is client communication. He’s the technician, the manager, and the owner, so he basically does it all. He often finds himself in a position in which his clients want their horse’s performance to improve–they want the results–but they push back on his feedback or methods.
So…he wanted to know how to he can convey what his business, brand, and processes are to his clients effectively so he can cut through the bullshit and get to the results.
First of all, right off the bat, I like to tell clients up front who I am and what my goal is in working with them. I want to make sure it’s crystal clear that I’m here to get them results. To set the tone, I might say something like this to a potential client:
“I'm not for everybody. When somebody hires me, I'm expecting that we're going to do whatever it takes to get the result. The result here that I understand that you're looking for is you need to go from losing money to making money. You have to understand that the habits that you have got you to that point. You might take everything personally. This isn't personal. I take what I do very seriously.”
Some people will love it. They’ll gravitate to it and, most importantly, they’ll get it. Then, we can work together effectively. It’s okay if you aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. You won’t be. Your job isn’t to appeal to everyone or to take care of people’s feelings. Your job is to get things done and, above all else, to get to result that you or your client is looking for.
Now that you’ve been real about who you are from the start, it’s time to focus on a common goal. And use those words: Common Goal. Jamie’s clients, for example, want their horses to perform at maximum capacity. So does Jamie. Everything in between where they’re at now and getting to that point is focused around that directive…and it’s not personal. It’s about efficacy and results.
So for someone like Jamie, it could go something like this:
“You are hiring me because I have a reputation for being able to fix things that nobody else has been able to fix, right? Let's understand that’s our common goal here: to get this horse performing at the highest level.”
Trust me, the sooner you’re real about who you are, the sooner you’ll come to an understanding about how to work together most effectively, and from there it’s all results, all the way.