According to my friend and colleague, coach and author Steve Chandler, “Most people try to move toward wealth in embarrassing, clumsy ways. They have cynicism programmed into them from an early age. So they want a course called ‘Manipulate and Grow Rich,’ or ‘Network and Grow Rich’ or ‘Win People Over and Grow Rich.’
“Yet all the while, there is a spirit that runs through all radical wealth creation… and we’ll keep it simple by calling it service. All the individuals and companies I have worked within the past 30 years revealed to me this underlying truth: Wealth comes from profound service.”
If you’re working on your business plan for 2014, make sure serving your clients is at the heart of it. If you do, this will be a great year for you.
Here are a few of Steve’s (and my) tips for serving:
1. Stop pleasing and start serving. As children, we are conditioned to please. “Were you a good girl, today?” Daddy asked, and what he meant was “Were you sweet, passive, obedient and not too vocal about your opinions?” Never did we hear him ask “Were you bold and powerful?” or “Were you courageous?”
If we think our clients will resist what we believe serves them best, we may choose what will please them instead of what we believe they should do or have. If we served instead pleased our clients, we would be able to make a real difference in their lives.
2. Create agreements, not expectations. We become anxious when clients or prospects don’t do what we think they should. Expectations belong in the recycle bin (along with such ideas as a “no” answer being a rejection). To fully serve and grow rich, you don’t need these ideas anymore. In fact, they will slow you down and bring you a life of disappointment.
If you want a client to do something, create an agreement. Agreements serve because they are creative collaborations which honor both sides. An expectation, on the other hand, lives and grows in us like a cancer.
3. Don’t tell a client she’s wrong. Proving that your client’s or prospect’s view of the world is wrong (no matter how ridiculous her opinion might be) is not serving her. Listen for the value in what she is saying before you respond. Recognize the merit, and acknowledge that you see it. Agree with her “objection” rather than trying to overcome it with a humiliating argument. Instead, find a way to reframe how she sees things.
For example, you might say “I understand that you don’t believe in life insurance, and if I saw it the way you’ve explained you do, I wouldn’t believe in it either. What I do believe in is making sure my family has money in case I’m not there to help. If we called it something other than ‘life insurance,’ wouldn’t that be something you’d want your family to have?”
Remember that your job as an advisor is to provide a service, to improve your clients’ lives with the value you create. The top of any profession is occupied by those who have learned to humbly serve.
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Sandy Schussel is a speaker, business trainer and coach who helps sales teams develop systems to win clients. He is the author of The High Diving Board and Become a Client Magnet. For more information, go to www.sandyschussel.com.