You know what I’m talking about. We’ve all dealt with this and it’s frustrating! You need the money or you have other important things riding on that sale or the project has been going on for waaaay too long and you’re ready to get it out the door.
So what do you do? How do you hurry things along? Can you hurry things along?
Well we’ve had our fair share of these scenarios and we want to impart what we’ve learned.
Clients Always Deserve Your Respect
First of all you should try to see it as a customer service opportunity. This is a chance for you to treat them like an actual human being, which you should ALWAYS do anyway.
We know how tempting it will be to complain about the situation. Don’t do that. In the moment it can be really hard to see that it will be ok in the end. So try to look ahead.
If you think about it, complaining is more detrimental to you than to your client, although it can certainly burn a bridge. Complaining is a state of mind and a damaging one at that.
I was reading an article this morning and in it the author wrote, “courage is contagious.” So is complaining in your own mind. When you start complaining about one thing or person, that negativity spreads to other parts of your life. No one likes a Debbie Downer.
So instead focus on the result or the feeling of finishing the race or whatever else you need to in order to keep moving forward. Many people turn to religion for comfort and guidance.
If you need help here you’re always welcome to call us and talk about it. We aren’t trained counselors, but we’ve worked through all of this already and have a pretty solid foundation. Don’t worry; we won’t try to sell you anything.
The key takeaway here is to always treat your clients with the respect that you would ask for from them. No matter how they treat you.
Worrying Gets You Nowhere
Merriam-Webster defines worry as “to feel or show fear and concern because you think that something bad has happened or could happen.” This is pointless and oh so easy to give into.
Now there’s a difference between caring about genuine concerns and worrying. Caring about genuine concerns means doing something to fix a problem. Worrying is a state of mind that focuses on a future that may or may not happen.
Now as much as you may want to have control over the future, let’s be honest, you can’t. We control the choices we make and nothing else. So quit worrying about what tomorrow brings.
So when your client isn’t giving you an inch simply prepare as best you can for the expected and let the rest go.
After you’ve done your part and you’re still waiting go jump on another project. Do something productive. Not only will this distract you from the frustration of delays, but it’ll knock something off your list.
Be Thankful for Growth
Often it’s in the stressful and challenging times that we grow as individuals and even as companies. Working through the hard times teaches us where we’re inefficient, lazy, impatient, and so many more imperfections.
So try to see this period of waiting as a chance to better yourself and your company. Prove to your boss that you can handle stress. Prove to your client that you don’t get frazzled when things get tight, as they tend to do when the client finally does move. And more importantly, prove to yourself that you can get through it.
Then after you make it through to the other side, make a note of what happened and how you triumphed. This will help you to remember in the future how you’re awesome and you can do it again.
Show Grace and Forgiveness
Always show grace to your clients. Give them the treatment they don’t deserve (as in better than they deserve).
Similar to respect, grace means acting politely and being nice, but it also involves your state of mind. Noticing a pattern yet? Your attitude towards your clients should come from a place of humility and the desire to help.
This attitude will go a long way with your clients. They’ll notice and love you all the more.
The second part of this is forgiveness. Forgiveness here is not so much for your clients’ sake, but for yours. Forgiveness sounds a little heavy, but check yourself and see if you’re resentful toward the client for delaying things and making your life harder.
Forgiveness is a powerful thing that can free you up from a lot of unnecessary weight. It’s not always easy, but it can make your life a lot lighter.
Another reason to forgive is that there’s almost always a reason for the lack of progress that you aren’t aware of. Whether they suddenly lost their budget or a crucial team member had to take emergency leave or the building burned down there’s usually a good reason.
Occasionally they simply forgot or are trying to get you to discount your rates, but usually people are more decent than that.
Like I said, your clients will notice these things most of the time. And done right, these things can help set you apart from the competition and keep your clients coming back for more. It’s then up to you if you want to keep their business.
I hope this helps.