Managing Client Expectations For A Successful Outcome
By: Karen Pattock
It’s a great day in your business because you just signed a new client. You’re excited and ready to give them the best possible service. But wait… are you 100% clear on what they expect from you? Furthermore, are they 100% clear on what they will be receiving from you? Building great relationships starts with managing your client’s expectations.
Starting this new relationship with clear and concise objectives is sure to take you one giant leap forward in not only meeting, but exceeding, all of your new client’s expectations. Nothing is worse than a client that feels like you didn’t live up to what they thought you were offering them. That becomes a no-win situation for everyone involved and we certainly don’t want that to ever happen.
Here are three strategies you can implement each time you get a new client that will substantially increase your ability to meet your client’s expectations and keep them coming back for more of your products and services.
Strategy #1: Strategy Questionnaire
Once you’ve inked the deal and your new client is ready to go, send them a “Strategy Questionnaire”. Usually 7 – 10 questions will do the trick. Ask things like:
1) What is your primary goal?
2) What do you want to accomplish within the next 90 days?
3) In the past, what’s been your biggest stumbling block in meeting your goals?
Having them put their goals in writing does two things. First it gives them the chance to see their goals on paper, which often times helps them become more realistic about what they can accomplish. Second it gives you the opportunity to analyze their goals to be sure they are actually attainable within the timeframe they’ve set for themselves.
Strategy #2: Communication & Regular Feedback
When I had health coaching clients I always started each session off with a review of our previous session’s goals along with the question, “How did you do on the goals we set last time?”
This approach allows your client to take ownership of the success or lack of success of the goals you had previously set. They will be able to tell you in their own words how they did and why that strategy worked or didn’t work for them.
During our coaching sessions I would pick out two or three things that I thought my clients should work on before our next session. I would always discuss those goals with them at the end of our current call to be sure that they felt comfortable with those goals.
I always wanted their coaching sessions to be interactive to maintain a mutual working relationship. I never wanted them to feel like I was dictating to them. One thing I know for sure is that progress will never be made until the client decides that they want to take ownership in the goals that are being set.
Strategy #3: Listen, Listen, Listen
Have you ever heard the saying, “You have two ears and one mouth so listen twice as much as you speak”? Well strategy #3 is summed up in that one sentence. No matter what role you play in the health, wellness, fitness or beauty world, listening will be a key to your success.
When you are meeting with your client try your best to tune into the things that they aren’t saying that could be a real clue to the reason their success might be minimal. Self-confidence or self-image issues can often sabotage a client’s success.
I once had a client that refused to reduce her intake of wine. She drank two or three glasses daily and although time after time we would agree on a goal of her reducing that to only one glass one or two nights per week she would report back at each session that she didn’t meet the goal.
It wasn’t until I discovered, (by listening closely to clues she was giving), that she was having some major problems in her job with a coworker. The wine was her release. Once we dug into the problem of her work-related issues, she was able to confront her coworker and get the resolution she needed and was finally able to reduce her daily wine intake thereby contributing to additional weight loss.
Remember, it isn’t necessarily that your client doesn’t want to tell you what’s going on. Often times they have been dealing with the problem for so long it has become part of them and they don’t recognize that they have the power to change things. They just need a new perspective…. your perspective.
Take this simple and effective approach to each client and I’m sure you’ll find that not only will they come back again and again for your help, they will also recommend you to everyone they know that could benefit from working with you.
Please come over to my –>>Facebook page<<– and leave me a message. Share with me how you feel these strategies will improve your client relationships. Also, if you have a tip that works that you would like to share with others please post that as well.
With love & support,
I agree that managing expectations are crucial. I like the structure you suggest. Thanks for sharing.
I’m so happy that you found it helpful Lois. Thank you for leaving a comment. Have a great day!