Do you find your clients can’t afford you?
This is an adaptation of an earlier blog, but it feels so deeply relevant to me this week, and I know that you might be facing the same challenges in your business, so I’ve decided to share it again.
You see, many of my ideal clients can’t afford to work with me, and I know that it might be the same for you.
Let me tell you more:
There is a particular type of person who I feel most strongly called to work with and with whom I do my best work and get the best results.
Typically, she is female and she’s struggling with her business. She’s gone into business because she’s passionate about what she does and she has unique gifts for helping others – but when it comes to getting clients she takes a hit and miss approach, doesn’t know what she doesn’t know, and often gives up too quickly because she doesn’t see instant results.
As a result she might have been in business for a whole year or more (sometimes even 4 or 5!) without getting many clients or seeing any significant income.
Can you imagine what this has done to her sense of confidence and self-esteem? How much of a fraud she feels like when people ask her how the business is going? Not to mention the effect on her financial life.
And very often she doesn’t get the help she needs until it’s really truly crunch time.
So by the time she comes across my “Get More Clients Saying Yes!” course she has often got to the bottom of her savings pot, or has racked up credit card debt on a whole library of online trainings – often on topics too advanced for where she is right now. Or has a partner who tolerates her “hobby” but doesn’t take it seriously enough to let her spend any of the family money on learning the skills she really needs if she’s going to make the difference that her soul is yearning for.
So what do you think I hear, over and over at this time of year when my “Get More Clients Saying Yes!” course is open for enrolment?
“I know I need to do this, and I want to do it. But I simply can’t afford it”.
I also hear this a lot:
“I’m going to go away and try to get it working on my own so that I can join you next year”.
(Usually from someone who has earned very little in the last 12-24 months).
So see, the very nature of my “ideal client”, the very fact that she is someone I am so uniquely skilled and talented to be able to help, means that very often she believes that she can’t afford to work with me in order that I can help her get the results she really wants in her business.
And that’s why this isn’t just about me and my business – this is about you too.
Because it’s quite possibly exactly the same for you.
The very reason that someone most needs your help is the very same reason they give for not working with you.
So if you are a money mindset or abundance coach who helps people shift their mindset around money, then your clients will say they can’t afford your help.
If you specialise in helping busy business owners automate and systematise their business so they can get their time back to spend with their family, your clients will say no because they haven’t got the time to work with you.
Or maybe you specialise in helping people overcome anxiety and the very need to make a decision in itself makes their anxiety worse and so it is easier for them to say no.
Or you help people with chronic health conditions and they can’t afford to work with you because they’ve been off work for six months.
Can you think of another example specific to your own business? If so let me know in the comments below.
It’s a tough one isn’t it? And I’m not going to pretend that it isn’t. And it’s a constant challenge for me too.
So what should we do?
Should we pack it all in? Throw in the towel?
Maybe go and find something easier to sell? Maybe we should choose our market more strategically, based purely on their ability to pay?
Well, yes, we could do that, they would be very valid solutions.
But in my case the answer is “No way!”
You see, working with these women is my calling, and I feel that clearly. And I know I’m uniquely gifted at it. Not only that but seeing a business owner going from struggling to get clients and not making any money to thriving is what gives me a greater sense of fulfilment and satisfaction than just about anything else in my life.
So if you feel that passionately about your clients too then no, you don’t quit.
You commit to serving them
You learn to get good. And I mean REALLY good. At sales conversations.
As part of this you get to understand your clients and their most common concerns about working with you. Until you know them inside out.
And then you learn how to address those concerns, openly, in every single conversation – in a way that feels supportive for the client and comfortable for you.
And finally, you don’t shy away from difficult conversations.
I have difficult conversations with potential clients all the time. I ask them in depth questions about their personal financial situation – the sort of stuff we Brits don’t tend to share easily! But I have to ask those questions.
Because sometimes when a client has no money at all and is going backwards fast, the very best thing she can do for herself and her family is take a deep breath and invest in her future. Whether that’s her future business, financial wellbeing, health or family.
And sometimes investing in her business would put her family into genuine financial difficulty and cause so much anxiety and panic that she won’t be able to think clearly and take the inspired and courageous actions required to get her business working.
So I have to have these conversations because if I don’t I can’t congruently help the client through to a clear decision about the right way forward for them.
And you need to learn how to address these concerns too.
I cover addressing concerns in more detail in my “Get More Clients Saying Yes!” course for authentic sales conversations. But here are a few things you can start thinking about now:
- Identify what your clients most common concerns are. You do this by interviewing people in your client market. Or even better, have lots of sales conversations.
- It’s then essential that you address these concerns during your sales conversation. You might do this directly or indirectly depending on what you feel the client needs.
- You might do this through examples, anecdotes, directly or by asking questions that simultaneously help you get a better understanding of the situation and help the client to see the various options before them more clearly.
- You might also need to “coach” your client around the issue. And don’t be afraid to do this – this is how you fully serve your client.
Because it’s easy to forget that a “No” isn’t only saying no to investing money in your service. It is also a “No” to change, or “No” to having their problem resolved. And part of your job is to make sure the client sees that clearly.
I’d love to know if this resonates. Do you, like me, find that the very problem you solve is often the reason your client says no? I’d love to know – please let me know by commenting below.
With Love & Gratitude,