Last week, I had my monthly check-in call with two fellow business owners. There was excitement all around as we heard from Stacey that she had a few sales deals in the pipeline–like really far down the pipeline! Momentum was building! The metaphorical cha-ching was about to be heard!
Yesterday, as it would turn out, the momentum came to an abrupt and surprising stop. A potential client, who really did sound like she was all in, decided she was all out. There was an email about timing, about differing ideas coming from her ops manager as to why it was a no…varying reasons with no real clarity besides, “It’s a no for us.”
The ladies and I have a Voxer chat going for moments just like these. When we need to scream out in frustration, to vent, and then to encourage each other to get back on the horse.
I came into the news and the chat late in the day. By that time, Stacey had already emailed the woman back. She emphasized the benefit of her podcast production services, and why the timing was of the essence because of an upcoming launch.
Then, she wrote something that made me do a little 😬cringe-oh crap-sigh.
She wrote to her almost-client: “I’m disappointed.”
Stacey had multiple sales calls with this woman. They had multiple email exchanges. The woman sounded positive and all in. For those of you who might be saying a sale isn’t a sale until the contract is signed…noted. However, Stacey is experienced enough to know when someone sounds excited or when there is real potential; this woman fell in the latter category.
Stacey was disappointed. She had every right to be disappointed.
But, here’s the deal…
The client doesn’t care.
Stacey’s disappointment is not the client’s problem.
Now she’s got to deal with Stacey’s emotions and feelings, and well if there was a chance of rebounding the sale, now this is something she has to manage.
Stacey’s disappointment was hers to deal with. (Or to share with the squad!)
The feeling and emotion that she could have shared with the client? Concern.
I’m concerned that by not working together before your launch, you’re going to miss out on a big opportunity to successfully strategize and create a profitable launch.
I’m concerned that there might be other forces at play that I don’t know–and I’m curious to know–that would make you miss out on this opportunity to work together.
I’m concerned that some people on your team might not have a full understanding of the benefits of working with us and what we offer–and I’d love the chance to talk to them to clear up any confusion.
Your clients don’t care about your feelings. They don’t care about your policies. They don’t care that you’re short-staffed.
They care about what they want: assurances this will be a good investment. Someone to help the naysayer on the team understand the benefits of working with you. A successful launch.
Anything else…noise, or rather, air.
When we share the above, we become human helium tanks. If you’ve experienced my Deflate, Relate, Elevate workshop, you know what I’m talking about. The proverbial red balloon we all have hanging above our heads with our “stuff.”
Our job is to help deflate our client’s balloon: let ‘em get it out, listen for what’s really going on, and then keep it deflated through understanding and empathy.
When we give the excuses, explain the policies, make them have to manage our feelings…pfffffftttttttt (or whatever the spelling of a helium tank sound might be), that balloon fills right back up, now with even more of a chance of bursting.
Internal: It’s your responsibility to process your reactions and feelings.
External: It’s your responsibility to get curious, pause, and wonder what’s really going on with your client, get to the bottom of that story, and see how you can be of service.
Shifting to focusing on their feelings and acknowledging their experience are what builds trust, respect, and loyalty.
When we focus on them and show them that we care…well then they just might start to care about us, too.