Not so long ago, I turned down a client. He kinda reminded me of something the great Bob Bly once said.
If you don't know who Bob Bly is, he is the one McGraw-Hill calls “America’s top copywriter.” He has been writing high-performance direct response copy for IBM, AT&T, Intuit, Forbes, Medical Economics, ITT, and many more.
So, I believe he knows what he's talking about.
Anyways, he once said there are three types of clients: an ignorant client, an arrogant client, and an arrogant ignorant client.
Believe it or not, the ignorant client is the best one to work with.
The ignorant client hires you for your knowledge and your expertise. He is very aware that he is no expert in your field, and he defers the decision powers to you. And more importantly, he listens to what you have to say, and he actually executes whatever you suggest.
For example, if you're an accountant and you suggest a new and improved way to manage his finances that will be both beneficial to you as the accountant and to him as the business owner. He might think about it, but eventually, he trusts you and implements your method.
On the flip side, you'll need to do a fair bit of teaching so that he sees the reasoning behind your decisions. Sure, he trusts you, but it should not be a blind trust.
The second type of client is an arrogant client. This guy usually knows a lot about your field. And therefore it's more of collaborative work than you taking the full reins. It's cool to work with a few of these clients when you're getting started because you get to learn a lot from them.
The third type is a client who is both ignorant and arrogant. These are typically the kind of clients that make business owners want to go back to their jobs. They acknowledge the fact that they don't know much about your field, and they are willing to hire you to help them. But when you start helping them, suddenly they know more than you. They question your decisions, argues with your choices, and are simply hard to deal with.
I try to make sure that I never work with this third type but a couple of times, they've slipped through…
This is why it's so important that your prospects already know that you are the real expert before hiring you. They must also know that since they hired you, you are going to make decisions for them.
This cannot happen if you position yourself as just an accountant, a programmer, a designer, a writer or any other job title. You'll need to become more, you'll need to start focusing on the end results. I.e. the results that your client truly desires.
The great thing about this is that, when you position yourself that way, most ignorant and arrogant clients will leave you alone. They prefer to deal with someone to boss around, to tell them what to do, and when their method does not bring results, they have someone else to blame.
I think that you too don't need to work with this type of client. If you want to start attracting the right type of client for your business, and you want to do so on autopilot, you should probably check out my service business blueprint.
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