Archive for September 9th, 2009

Dear Danielle: What Do You Do When a Client Wants to Jump Ahead and Overstep Your Processes?

Dear Danielle: What Do You Do When a Client Wants to Jump Ahead and Overstep Your Processes?

Dear Danielle:

What do you do in those situations when a client wants to jump ahead or step over your processes in a consultation? –MO

Ideally, in a perfect world, your pre-qualifying processes and marketing to your ideal clients and target market would attract just those who are the right fit.

Your ideal clients are going to be serious about getting your help, committed to doing whatever it takes to get there, and trust that you as the business owner and administrative expert have a reason for doing things the way you do.

When that is the case, they aren’t as likely to try and take short-cuts with your steps and processes.

But nothing is foolproof.

We can only do the best we can to make sure our time is reserved for the most qualified client candidates, but there will always be one or two who slip through and put a wrench in the works, despite our best efforts.

They aren’t bad people or anything. They might simply have priorities that aren’t going to work well with how you do things. Or, they might not understand the value of going through the process.

Whatever the reason, it is what it is. Nothing is going to follow your script exactly like you want or intend 100% of the time.

However, it’s always our job to help clients better understand.

We have to be able to think on our feet and do our best to rein the conversation back into the order of our processes and standards.

This is so that you and your client can make the best decision possible for both of you.

When that’s not possible, you have to just chalk it up to not being right for each other at that place in time.

My best advice is to help these clients better understand the reasons for your process.

Ask them to trust in it and explain that you will fully and openly talk about what it is they want to jump ahead to when you get to that part.

If they are impatient with that, it can mean that they will be difficult to work with anyway and doesn’t bode well for a happy relationship.

It can be hard to resist the urge to cave-in here, but I’ve found this to be a really important standard to uphold — for yourself and your client (even if/when they don’t understand that it’s in their best interests).

The good news is that most of the time, a client just needs a little reassurance that you recognize the importance or relevance of the thing they want to get to, and that you will definitely get to that part of the conversation and pay special attention to it in its due course.

Let them know you have an intentional process, ask them to trust the process, and guide the conversation back on track.