Having experienced an unfortunate love life until the ripe age of 37 when I met my Andy, I thought the book “He’s Just Not That Into You” was written about me. It was all about stories of guys and gals who did 2 am booty calls, who refused to introduce you to his friends, who didn’t want to talk about the future and who just kept you hanging onto the edges of their life with no output of effort or affection.
So when I started my own business of helping other businesses get new clients through figuring out their marketing, it occurred to me that the same thing was happening to us. We were hanging onto clients just like bad boyfriends who were Just Not That Into Us. Here are a few signs that this is happening written in the style of the original book itself which is in the form of Dear Abby type letters.
1. No Contact Sport
I’m a financial adviser and I help young parents set up a secure financial future for their children. I’ve been working with a family for 2 years now and unless I call them, they never reach out to me and I have to practically insist on a date and call back several times to actually set a date to talk about THEIR portfolio performance. What’s going on here?
Perplexed in Parry Sound
I sympathize with your plight. The reason why your clients aren’t reaching out to you and don’t want to speak to you is because either they don’t like you or they don’t like the subject of finance and they’re avoiding you like the plague. Try to change your approach-meet them in a new environment that’s friendly to their family like an indoor playground’s private meeting room (since finances are confidential). Another idea is to bring a toy for their kids. Then ask them sincerely what they would love to change about the relationship. Are you meeting too frequently or is the info you’re presenting in a format they struggle with. If none of these approaches work, then move onto clients who love and adore your presence and thrive in your help!
2. Lucky To See A Dime
Do you ever get clients who from the very start are late in payments and sometimes miss their payments altogether?! There’s one guy I have to remind 4 times a month before he’ll pay me. I know it’s not a lack of money, he pays a lot of other vendors and his business is growing every minute. Yet I never interrupt his service because I maintain his website and social media stream and how am I supposed to stop that? What should I do?
I very rarely have this happen to me but I know it happens a lot. If your client is So Not Into You that they’re ok with you walking or that you’ve trained them that it’s ok to skip payments or not pay you altogether, then you’ve got to walk away. People rarely change. You either have to start attracting clients who will honour their financial commitments or you have to re-train your existing dead beats into thinking that they can’t have you for free. Unless you’re performing a noble job like breastfeeding-when the payment stops, the service stops. No exceptions!
3. Who Me Implement?
I’m a personal trainer and the majority of my clients don’t do what I’m asking them to do between our sessions so my success rate on average is a big whopping disappointment. What can I do so I can hold my head up high at the next Thigh Busters Convention?
Muscles From Mississauga
Any business owner who provides advice for a living has this problem and here’s how I solved it for my own clients. I now have a clause in my contract where if a client doesn’t do the homework they promised (which is captured in writing), I take $50 off their credit card each session. It’s been working beautifully and weeds out the serious clients from the ones who are Just Not That Into Me.
4. Snarky Barky
I love most of my clients but there’s this one store owner who is just as sarcastic as they come and he’s killing my mojo. Last week when I called to ask if he had more orders to place this month, he asked me if I was waiting for Santa to help me deliver since his last order had been a day late. He’s constantly saying things like this and I’m not sure he’s very happy. What should I do?
Office Guy In Oakville
Dear Office Guy,
When a client is saying sarcastic and nasty things to you all day long, it could either be because he’s just made that way and everyone gets the lash of his or her tongue or it could be your client is Just Not That Into You because he or she has experienced a gap in what he thinks you promised versus what he thinks you’re delivering. Clear up the matter by asking openly if they’re happy working with you. If not, move on. In fact, if they’re just a miserable son of a gun, move on anyway.
Is it normal for a client to complain about everything and everyone or is it just that I’m not delivering a top notch service? Most of my clients are happy and doing well but some are just not thriving and they seem to complain and blame just about everything but their dog. What do you say?
Kicking Post Kelly
When something goes wrong, productive people take responsibility and see the event as a learning for the next time. When a client keeps blaming others, circumstances or even you for not getting results, you need to address this issue. If they’re open to hearing it and willing to learn, they’ll work through it. If not, they are Just Not That Into You so you have to gently and kindly say goodbye.
If you’re a small business owner and you’re working with a client who is Just Not That Into You, wake up and smell the discontent. Then slowly and surely walk away from them into the arms of new clients who are perfect for who you are.
- Coachtactics Business Breakthrough Take Home Self-Study Program (coachtactics.com)
- managing client relationships (barb0158.wordpress.com)
- How to Get Clients to Knock on Your Door (inc.com)