Today’s article is about why clients sometimes back out and what to do about it. Sometimes for whatever reason, a brand new client decides to back out and not go forward in working with you even before you’ve started to work together. So, here you’ve spent time marketing to that client, following up, cultivating the lead, successfully going through the whole closing of the sale process, and you’ve gotten a brand new client who suddenly backs out. I think there’s nothing more frustrating than that.
So, what do you? What is the right thing to do? Do you let them just walk away, or do you actually do something about it? Well, in my opinion, how you respond to the situation is directly related to the reason that they’re backing out. See, once you know why they’re backing out, you can respond accordingly.
It’s important to examine what’s really going on with their situation and get them to the real reason why they’re not moving forward in working with you. In my experience, it boils down to four different reasons.
1. They simply may not be your ideal client. Admit it. Whenever that’s the situation, you knew it deep down inside, but you decided to take them on anyway just because you needed the money. We’ve all been there. What I’ve experienced is that that usually comes back to get you. So, in that case, if they’re not your ideal client, I believe you should let them walk away. When you try to convince someone who isn’t right for you in the first place to continue working with you, that is only going to create problems later. I’ve done it. You’ve probably done it. Trust me, it comes back to bite you. It comes back to haunt you because a client who isn’t your ideal client is just not going to get the right results. They won’t refer others, and they’ll just be an energy drain for you. So, be in integrity. Let that person lovingly go.
2. They just don’t get the value. If they’re not convinced of the value of what they’ll get from working with you, you’re probably talking too much about processes when you’re talking to them about your work, rather than about the results that they’ll get from working with you. People don’t buy processes. They buy results. Let this be your mantra. People want results, results, results, results. So when describing your work and when describing your programs, you want to talk about results. If your prospect isn’t clear that they’ll get the solutions to the problems that keep them up at night, then they just simply won’t plunk down their credit card to work with you. The solution to this is change how you talk about what they’ll get and it’ll make all the difference.
3. They claim that money is an issue. I’m sure you’ve heard this before, “I can’t afford it. My husband, my accountant, my this, my that…” This is usually an excuse hiding the real reason. I know that there are people who genuinely don’t have the money, but someone – I’ve found this to often be true in my many, many years—someone will change their mind the very next day and use money as an excuse. What I’ve found is it’s probably because they aren’t convinced of the value that you’ll bring.
So, let’s face it. We’ve all met people who really want to work with you, but for some money can be an issue. There is a difference in the approach.
Let’s say you have a person who genuinely does not have the money, and a person who does have the money but is using money as an excuse. You can tell right away because the prospect who doesn’t have the money but really, really wants to do the program will try to find a way to find the money. They’ll ask about payment plans. They’ll start to save up. They’ll say, “I will start in January,” and they’ll put down a deposit. That is the person who will do anything to make it happen.
But, if the prospect that you’ve just signed who just backed out isn’t scrambling to find a way to afford your services or your products, then it’s usually a question of not seeing the value. In that case, you have to go back to talking to them about the results that they really want.
4. Sometimes clients have limiting fears that keep them from moving forward, even though they really need your help. They make the decision and will move forward in doing something good for themselves, and then limiting fears creep in and stop them from moving forward.
Here’s what I’ve learned. So, the person says, “I really want to work with you. Let’s do it,” and then they go home and they start having fear of failure or fear of success. It’s happened to me, too.
In my experience, many, many times especially in my early days, I have limited myself and gotten in my own way just when I was starting to take a big step towards my goals. I stopped myself and I essentially got in my own way by backing out, by being wishy-washy and going back on a decision that I made. I’ve seen this happen over and over again with clients, too.
What happens is we have our big dreams and we say to ourselves that we’ll do anything to make them happen, but then when given an opportunity we sabotage our own success, and usually and ironically, it’s because of the fear of success or the fear of overwhelm.
So, because it takes one to know one, if I sense that this is going on, depending on the client, I will actually gently ask if this financial discomfort that they’re experiencing could be a limiting belief. I tell them that I’ve had people go through the Client Attraction programs and realize that the limitation that they had around getting to the next level was actually rooted and created by their own mindset. Once we examine their business and their success mindset, most people find a way to make the investment.
When you call it out and put words to their worry, people will then realize, “Oh, I am just getting in my own way,” and they will make the investment. I tell them this is what our coaching is about. It’s about really looking at that client’s perspective around business success and around making money in their business and then taking massive action on it. It’s not just the marketing.
Your Client Attraction Assignment
So, your assignment this week is more of a complicated one, and it’s more of a ‘mindset-y’ one. I want you to spend some time thinking about what clients have said when they’ve backed out of your program. Look at the real reason that they had whether it was something spoken or unspoken about backing out, and then list these on a piece of paper. If you suspect it’s a limiting belief, then talk to them about it and gently show them that they might be standing in their own way.
This is about taking a stand for your client. If you really love that prospect whether you know them or not, if you really care about them and you want them to succeed, then take a stand for them. You’ve got to be super gentle about this and I always ask permission to be direct because some people will be open to this kind of coaching and some people will not, but really talk to them about their belief system around working with you.
Now, if it’s a value issue, then it’s time to change the way that you speak to your prospects about how you work together, and it’s also time for you to change the way that you close the sale and especially double-closing the sale. The bottom line is that you’ve worked really hard to get that client to sign up. Don’t let the client walk away unnecessarily.
Use these techniques, and if all goes well, you’ll be back to celebrating that client signing up again. Enjoy!