I just had a discovery call with a prospective client.
We had a great conversation and she really wanted to work with me, but I could tell that she was not ready.
Problem is that the timing was too short for what she was planning to launch, and she didn’t have the basics in place in order to fast-track the process.
Yet, because I came highly recommended from someone she trusts, she was eager to move forward since she believed we could make it work.
You see, I had 2 options at this point: One was to cash in on the fact that she was in a desperate situation, and tell her that I could help her achieve her goals in the short timeframe (3 weeks).
It would have been so easy to get her to pay me right away because she had already seen enough during our call to know that I had something good to offer.
But the second option I had was to decline the offer. This way, I could help her consider alternatives, give herself some space reflection, and then come back when she has more time for the launch.
You can guess which route I went — I took the second option.
I told her that I didn’t think moving forward with me was the best course of action in the moment; at least not in the timeframe she was hoping for.
Instead, I gave her some ideas of how she could prepare for the launch, and things she needed to put in place before going LIVE in a few months, rather than 3 weeks.
She was so deeply grateful that I told her the truth and didn’t just take her money even when I knew that her timing was short and her chances of success were limited.
Thing is, I did this without thinking about it. It’s what I do all the time.
However, the depth of gratitude she expressed got me thinking. And then it hit me once again that this is not what most of us are used to in mainstream marketing.
What the gurus tell us is to go for the sale as fast as possible, and to ensure that we “convert” the prospect to buy & become a paying client.
Please don’t do this. It might get you a quick sale here and there, but in the long run you’ll burn all your bridges and make a bad name for yourself in the industry.
Besides, it hurts the client when you take advantage of them when they are at their low point. Rather than taking advantage of them, serve them. Help them. Bless them, and let them go.
If you’re building your business for the long-term (which I hope you are), then it’s very likely that your paths will cross again.
You don’t want to rip clients off and have them speak bad about you and your services to their circle.
You want positive word-of-mouth. You want to be a trusted advisor, a friend, a real consultant that cares very deeply for the people you serve.
And to be that, you must prove that you’re in it for their good, not for a quick buck.
By turning down that prospective client and giving her positive ideas of what else she could do while getting ready for a better launch, I demonstrated to her that I was not driven by her money.
She could see very clearly that I just wanted the best for her; and I was okay to say that the “best” for her at that time did not include working with me in the way she imagined.
And that’s my invitation to you today: Go all in for your clients. Serve them. Help. Build trust. Educate. Inspire. And then let them go.
In the long-run, this will pay you more than any quick buck you would have made.