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2 critical questions to demand more respect (and more money) from your clients

 

One of the absolute best things about being an entrepreneur is monthly recurring revenue. One of the absolute worst things is having clients that pay you too little or give you much grief for the work that you do.Our frustrations, and sometimes even anger, boil over when we feel undervalued.

Often times struggling entrepreneurs find themselves placing blame on other people or situations around them. But before we can look outward to determine what changes need to be made in our outside world we have to first look inward to determine where we are not being 100% accountable to ourselves.

What boundaries are we not respecting? Where have we allowed ourselves to accept agreements that our not fully aligned with our desired outcomes?

Remember that your business is nothing more than a reflection of you. So in order to begin to demand the respect of our clients, we are going to start by demanding respect of ourselves.

Think through the way your business looks today and the type of leader you are today. Now, with the lens you view the world today, what advice or counsel would you give to yourself 2 year ago? Lastly, think forward 1 year from today.  Once you have achieved the results you set out to achieve, how will you now view the world?

There are two critical questions that you need to ask the future version of you:

  1. What did you change about yourself? (What did you start doing differently)
  2. What boundaries did you create for yourself or your business?

Once you have the answers to these questions, outline the three steps that you can take in your own life today that will have a positive effect on your business relationships- and your bottom line?

Be accountable- what one thing will you commit to doing differently this week? Send me a DM and let me know here.

It’s ok to get fired (maybe even preferable)

As you are reading this you can likely put your finger on an exact contract that needs to end, either you as the seller or you as the buyer. You know its happening when you dread picking up the phone when you see the number pop up or the e-mail come through- or it sits in your inbox longer than others because you just can’t deal with it yet. As a matter of fact, you likely really just don’t even like the person or company you are doing business with. And if that’s the case, there is a high likelihood right now that you either need to do some firing or get fired.

The problem is we stick around way too long in business engagements that are just good enough, or not bad enough to really quit them. Often times as sellers of services we get into an arrangement where there is an expectation of service for pay but over time the clients become demanding, asking for more deliverables or more of your time- but the total price never goes up.

There is a saying that we strive for in the industry to “Undersell and Overdeliver”, but that has a threshold of when it no longer makes sense. If it becomes too one side and we end up spending all of our time servicing an underpaying client, the cost is actually significantly greater than what you might think.

You see, while you are busy “overdelivering”, what you aren’t doing is growing your business, you aren’t prospecting, and you aren’t taking on new clients where the relationship may be better. What you THINK it’s costing you to cut them loose is the lost revenue from that specific contract, but what it’s really costing you is everything that you would be missing by serving a client that actually appreciates your work.

Cut the cord- we all have one

What happens when your reputation is on the line?

Oftentimes as struggling entrepreneurs we feel like we are being taken advantage of by our customers...

...but we are either worried about the loss of revenue if we fire them…

...or they damage to our reputation if we decide to stop doing the work.

What will people say?  What will our spouses say to us if the revenue is a bit short this month?

Our reputation is one of the most important things we have as business owners. But what happens when customers begin to turn the tables on our desire to undersell and overdeliver? What happens when our service is far undervalued by our customer?

When we are in integrity we are able to fully provide for our customers and our value exceeds their expectations. But the hurt starts to set it when we feel like we are being taken advantage of and there just isn’t any way out.

Early in my entrepreneurial journey I felt this pain significantly. On our first contract with a new customer, we gave the customer cut rate prices- true bargain basement. I didn’t know any different, I was the quintessential struggling entrepreneur.

I thought the only way to enter a new market was to give steep discounts- boy was I in for a surprise. There wasn’t a single dollar in the contract for labor, barely even covering the cost of goods and the operating expenses.

The problem became the customer was now acclimated to those low prices and expected it every time, but it was absolutely unsustainable for me as a person, much less as a company. The only way out at that point was to push the reset button. Sometimes you just have to be willing to walk away.

Business mirrors life in many ways and this one is almost like dating- when you know it’s time to move on, you have to get rid of the old to make room for the new.

Are you in a position right now where you feel you are undervalued? If so, send me a DM here with some back story on the arrangement and let’s see if we can get you out of it.

If you have an example of how you have already overcome it, tell us the story of how you got the value back in balance.

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