Showing up naked for your next appointment may not be the best plan, but according to Patrick Lencioni’s book, Getting Naked, being real, honest, and VULNERABLE with your clients may be the very best thing you can do to build relationships and there by grow your business.
We have all had that experience of being ‘sold’ by someone who just wanted to close the sale and was clearly more focused on the paycheck than they were actually helping us. It’s no surprise that no one likes this. If your approach with clients is to just ‘get it done’ without any regard to them as people, chances are your business is struggling. You may be bringing in the business, but the relationships are tense and you rarely get referrals from clients.
Here are some of the principles that are discussed in In Getting Naked:
~ Always consult instead of sell:Engage your client. Ask them questions. Be there to help. Don’t show up with a generic predetermined conclusion of what they need. Take the time to help them from the very beginning.
~ Give away the business: Contrary to what some people believe, you will NOT loose business by doing this. Focus on helping people from the very beginning. They will trust you more and respect your opinions and THAT is what will win you the business long term. Information is no knowledge. Even though you gave them information up front, they will still need help to implement it which is when they will hire you.
~ Tell the kind truth:Your clients want you to tell them the truth. It may not be what they want to hear, but if you can phrase it in a kind (note: this does not mean half assed and ineffective) way, they will appreciate it and respect you that much more.
~ Ask dumb questions:You don’t have to know it all. Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification along the way. Your client will appreciate that you care about them and chances are there is someone else who has the same question, but is just afraid to ask.
There are many others in the book that are fantastic. It is a quick read and packed with insights. Definitely a book worth putting on your fall reading list. Enjoy!