At some point in your business, you may have a difficult request from a client. It could be a difficult task, or the client themselves are being difficult to work with.
1. Take Time to Cool Down
Separate you as a person from your business and do not take things personally (which is hard!!!). Vent to a safe person, write a letter that you rip up, take a bubble bath… whatever you need to do to be level-headed and in a place you can empathize and relate to your client. You can’t enter a negotiation ready to fight. You have to come ready to hear out their side.
2. Understand your Client Thinks they are Right
No matter how crazy or outlandish the request… Put yourself in their shoes, because they are entering this discussion thinking they are right. LISTEN to what they are saying, repeat it back to them, ask them clarifying questions, and ensure they feel heard by a listening and caring ear.
Let your client feel like the winner, even if you aren’t giving them what they originally asked for. After you fully understand the request from their perspective, engage in a dialog to (a) meet in the middle, (b) meet them on their side, or (c) meet in a new outcome. Whichever conclusion you land on, make sure that your client feels they have the winning hand. Keep your tone slow, calm, and kind. Smile while you speak, even if it is a phone conversation. Use their name in conversation and very empathic words.
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