5 Magic Words That Will Help Your Business

And it wasn’t the first time.

More than once, I’ve had someone say to me at some networking event, live conference, or in the middle of a quick cup of coffee, “Hey, I think I wanna hire you.”

And what would you expect my response to be at a time like that?

“Great! Let’s talk about what that could look like!” 
or…”Wonderful! What kind of help are you looking for?”

But oh no. Not this wise one.

The last time that happened, I said, “Wait a minute – how do you know that?! You don’t even know enough yet about what I do…!”

I practically shut the door in the face of an ideal client, literally pushing away thousands of dollars in income at the same time.

Because as soon as I’d say something lame like that, the energy shifted – and I knew it.

I’d introduced doubt: doubt in the process, doubt in their desire, doubt in their confidence in me. So of course, it usually doesn’t go well from there, either. :)

But I don’t do that any more.  

Eventually, with the help of my coach and my sister entrepreneurs, I recognized a pattern for how and when that kind of thing was happening.

And when it wasn’t.

Systems are the key to making a business work. And having a specific process for how you handle client inquiries is just as important as any other aspect of your business.

So when someone called or sent an email seeking information, I did have a specific process in place, and knew exactly how to respond.

But when it happened spontaneously, in person (and after all, isn’t that what you want to happen when you’re networking?) – well, it threw me completely. I didn’t have a “system” for that.

Caught off guard, my usual self doubts would take over, and I’d blow it.

How do you handle it when someone says they want to work with you?

Do you have a process for how you introduce them to a deeper understanding of your work, and to what is possible for them?

Do you have a specific way to assess whether or not they’re a good fit for what you do?

Do you have a way to tell if they are ready to work with you?

If not, here’s what you need to do.

Step One.

Develop a process for how you want to assess a potential client.

Think of this almost like an application process. You’re trying to determine if they are someone you can help, and if you can, are they someone you want to work with.

It could be something as simple as a questionnaire, followed by a 30 minute phone call, and a decision.

Or it could be as robust as a 3-session assessment process, a package they purchase, that will enable you both to determine if they’re in the right place.

Step Two.

Map out that process on paper, with exactly what you say and do at each point.

Do you have an email that you’d send as your first response?  Write that and save it.

Do you have a homework assignment that they’d have to do before you met to discuss working together? Create that and save it.

Do you have a script you want to follow when you talk by phone? Or an outline you want to follow when you see them in your office? Draft that and save it.

Step Three.

Start with the 5 Magic Words anytime someone approaches you or even hints at wanting to work with you.

This. Is. How. I. Work.

That last step is the one I was missing.

I had everything else figured out. Give me a call or shoot me an email and I knew exactly how to guide you through a process that would help us both get clear about what’s best for you.

But hit me up on the way out of a conference, and I stumbled – back then.

Now I’ll say, “Great! This is how I work. Before I agree to work with someone, I have a process that helps us both get really clear about what you need, and whether I’m the right one to help. When I get back to my office, I’ll….“

And we’ll go from there.

The next time someone asks about working with you, lead them through your own specific process. Start with the 5 Magic Words…

This is how I work.

Take your time. Follow your process.

And (hopefully!) never throw away money again. :)

 

 
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