Do you find yourself taking on way too much responsibility for your clients?
If so, you are not alone. This is also something I struggled with when I first started my business and I’ve found that this is not just a client management problem but also a marketing problem.
If you are taking too much responsibility for your clients, I guarantee that you are going to continue attracting people who rely on you and expect you to be responsible for their success.
It’s so easy for us to take responsibility for our clients – especially if you come from a corporate or agency world like me. If you want to fix this problem, you need to stop attracting the wrong clients to begin with.
So why do we take so much responsibility for our clients?
- We inherently doubt the value that we bring to the table, so in order to compensate we start taking on responsibilities that are not ours.
- We try to control the result because we’re afraid of what will happen if the client does not get the desired result.
- We’re afraid to make a client unhappy and get a bad review.
Taking on the responsibility for your clients is the worst thing you can do for yourself AND your clients. Successful entrepreneurs take ownership of their business because they believe and recognize that it’s up to them to be successful.
So you taking on all of that ownership for your clients is basically you wanting it more than they do, and you’re robbing them of that opportunity to get that success themselves. Your client won’t be successful in the long run if you’re doing everything for them. And when things go wrong, who do you think the client will blame? That’s right…YOU.
You are not doing people any favors if you take responsibilities for them, and if you are attracting people like that, you need to look at why. Here are a couple of things that will help you move away from taking on responsibilities for your clients and help you step into your role as a leader. That way, you can attract people who respect your role and who is also equally committed to theirs:
1. Get clear about your role
What are you expected to bring to the table? And what does the client expect to bring to the table? You have to be clear on that because if not, your client isn’t going to be clear either.
A good way to uncover what’s really going on is to make a list of your responsibilities and your client’s. If you see that you have more items in your column, it shows that there is an uneven balance and that you are taking on way too much.
2. Release unhealthy expectations
No matter what’s causing you to take on extra responsibility, you have to release yourself from unhealthy expectations. Identify and understand where those unhealthy expectations come from. Vow to create new expectations and start fresh. This type of work is best done with a coach who can look objectively at your business.
3. Know your value
Embrace your value and your God-given talent because you can use that to help someone else. If you truly understand your value and who is the best fit to benefit from that value (aka your dream client), you are not going to take on people who are not willing to do the work themselves.
4. Let go of fear
Whatever fear you may have – fear that clients will be unhappy, fear that someone is going to write a bad review about you, etc. – you’ve got to let go of that. Fear is keeping you stuck.
Some clients will be unhappy – it’s just the nature of entrepreneurship. When a client is unhappy, it’s actually a gift. You get to look at why they’re unhappy and make changes within your company and your own mindset. It will also help you get more clarity on who is the right client for you.
5. Be clear about your values and what you expect of clients
It all comes back to what your values are and what you value in an ideal client. You also have to get clear of what you expect of your clients. Just because someone’s paying you doesn’t mean you have to be an order-taker. Remember, you are the leader and you have to start acting like it.
6. Talk about your expectations in your marketing
Be bold in your messaging about your expectations and who your dream client is – someone who is ready to be successful and who is ready to put in the work. Your messaging should be strong enough to attract the right people…people who understand that success ultimately rests with them.
I hope these tips are helpful. Remember – you have complete control over the type of clients you attract. If you are not attracting dream clients, that’s on YOU. Instead of taking responsibility for your client’s result, take responsibility for the type of client you attract.
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