The best way to relate to your clients is by being one. But the timing of this second habit is crucial. A lot of people I train to run large businesses or scalable coaching enterprises initially struggle with what to share personally with their clients and subordinates. And they often either keep things all business, sharing nothing of themselves, or over-share and paint themselves as weak and incapable...
It can be tough to know what you should share and what you should keep to yourself, especially when you’re struggling. That’s why it is so vitally important for entrepreneurs to have a coach or mentor that they can confidentially share everything with. It isn’t healthy for your business for you to share your fears about paying next month’s rent with your clients and customers.
It may be very helpful to share your past struggles (along with your story of overcoming them) with those people, but current, unresolved struggles are not something your clients need to hear, and they’re not helpful to your sales process at all.
At the same time, if you’re going to understand and connect with your current and potential clients, it is extremely helpful for you to be like them. They want to know that you have struggled like they do, and overcome those struggles. They want to see that you know what it’s like to be where they are, that you feel their pain. Just as long as you also know the clear solution to that pain, and you no longer suffer as they do.
You don’t have to have all of your problems solved, just the big one. You don’t have to have arrived at the final destination, you just need to have successfully navigated through the place they’re in now.
And you don’t have to have every specific answer. In fact, as a coach, I would argue that you don’t actually need any answers. You just need the confident positioning to ensure them that they can find or create the answers and move past the problems they face.
Your vulnerability with your clients needs to be unrelated to their need, or retrospective of their need. If you would have been your own ideal client a few years ago, or a few decades ago, you can do your own current and future clients a lot of good. But if you’d be your own best client now (if only you could afford you) then you’re in the wrong business.
The 9th Day - 7 Ways