Do you find yourself avoiding certain types of clients? Do you find yourself unable to speak the truth to your clients when their expectations of your services are unrealistic or if in real estate their properties are overpriced? If you're like most entrepreneurs, your "people pleaser" pattern often gets in the way of telling the truth. When you're not able to tell the truth to your clients, they lose respect for you, and you can end up losing their business.
This is similar to a client of mine, named Pauline, who was unable to reach her financial goals because she only wanted to work with buyers. When I probed into what was blocking her, she said that she really didn't like the idea of working with sellers. In fact, her dislike was so great that she actually avoided speaking with sellers.
When I asked her why, she said it was because they would be demanding. They wouldn't price their homes at the right number; they would expect her to spend a lot of money to sell their house; they would really pressure her and create a lot of stress for her.
I asked her why it was that she gave her power away to these people instead of setting appropriate boundaries. I asked her why she wasn't able to tell them the truth about the price of their homes. With a little prompting and encouragement, she discovered that she had been suffering from a very strong people pleasing pattern her whole life; it showed up in different areas.
In this case, it showed up whenever she thought about working with a seller. In her interactions with sellers, she gave her power to them; she let them control the situation; she let them set the price; she didn't set appropriate boundaries. In fact, she ignored one of Stephen Covey's basic rules, which is, "It's either win/win or no deal." For her, every situation with a seller was they won and she lost.
When we explored her people pleasing pattern a little bit deeper to find about the origins of when that was programmed in her mind, it turned out that it started very early in her life. In fact, as a very young child, her only way of getting any attention was to be a family "people pleaser".
I pointed out to her that that was probably a good strategy at the time, but like a program that you put into your computer, unless you change the program, it will just keep going on and on forever. I asked her if she would finally like to change that old "people pleaser" pattern, and she agreed.
Coming back to her current age, she realized that if she kept on being a "people pleaser", she would not be able to fulfill her potential, she would not make the money she needed, and she would constantly be stressed out. I asked her if those consequences were acceptable to her, and she adamantly said, "No."
With a very short technique, I introduced her to the idea of releasing her "people pleaser" pattern once and for all. When she did that, she felt much lighter. And then I asked her to come up with a list of empowered beliefs, and she created this list: "I just need to please myself, and no one else." "I don't need people to like me, I just need people to respect me." "It's either win/win or no deal." "The only person's approval I need is my own."
Those new empowered beliefs allowed her to take her power back. It gave her the ability to tell the truth. My general comment to all entrepreneurs today is that above all, be honest. When you're working with a prospective client be sure to manage their expectations as clearly as possible. If what they want is unrealistic, be honest about it and come up with a solution that is good for both of you.
If they insist on being unrealistic, or demanding things that you cannot provide for them, do not work with them; you would only be engaging in an interaction in which they would win and you would lose. Keep in mind Stephen Covey's famous principle from his book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, it's either win/win or no deal.
Trust your gut; you'll know if it's not a win for you. Your job is to let it go and trust that you're making room for a wonderful, new, ideal client.