How many hours and resources are you giving away every day for free?
Are you even feeling pushed around a little?
The big question to ask here is: how do you stand your ground without looking arrogant and losing business?
This is an issue that my clients often run into. They want new business, they understand that they have to invest time and effort into that process.
The problem is that they often don’t have a comfortable model to help them avoid giving away too much. They need a model that let’s them demonstrate value at the same time that they’re establishing a new business relationship.
The key to establishing a model like this is to start setting solid expectations at the beginning of the conversation with an interested person or prospect. By setting solid expectations, they get to know how you work, what your process is, and what they can expect out of your time together. (By the way, this model also works great with existing clients, allowing you to demonstrate value and defend it – use it in all your client-facing conversations.)
A Model You Can Use to Demonstrate Value and Stand Your Ground
So if the key is to start setting solid expectations at the beginning of conversations, what would this sound like? Here’s a real-world example that will give you a feel for how this model would sound in a prospect or client conversation:
Wally, here’s how the next 20-30 minutes are going to go.
I have 11 years of experience helping people just like you. I have a handful of proven questions that will let you and I know very quickly if I may be able to help solve your problem, and if you and I are a good fit for each other.
You get to stop me at any point if it feels like it’s not a good fit. You also get to ask any question you want at any point. If I need more information before I can give you a sensible answer, I get to say so.
Does that make sense as a way to proceed?
In this model, you’ve politely let Wally (my role play guy) know who is in control of the conversation and what’s going to be coming at him. He’s more comfortable, and comfortable prospects make stronger decisions, are less fearful and more open. And that’s ultimately the goal of the conversation.
Why does a model like this work? Three reasons:
- Most people respect a strong guideline.
- About 50% of us need a structure or format to feel comfortable in new or unusual situations – you’ll find that setting solid expectations up front will actually make your prospect feel more comfortable in the conversation, not less.
- If your prospect or client wanders off track or tries to hijack the conversation, you have a convenient and non-confrontational way to bring them back to task. And that makes you more comfortable in the conversation (not less).
Work with this model and start using it to demonstrate value and defend it. It’s an easy change to make, and it will position you well in all your client-facing conversations.
Take Action – Make This Your Own
- Take a few minutes to customize the example (above) that I used for this model – make it fit for your style and experience – but make sure you keep the boundaries clear and crisp.
- As you have conversations with your prospects and clients this week, use the model and be sure to start the conversation with clear boundaries and expectations.
- Let me know in the comments how it works for you.
You can also check out this related posts:
Share a comment – where are you running into trouble demonstrating your value?