How to Manage Your Clients - Small Business Coach, Women Business Coaching - Client Attraction

How to Manage Your Clients

Fabienne Fredrickson
August 24, 2012

Today I want to talk to you about how to manage your clients. Whether you are just starting out or you are at full practice right now looking to multiply, you must know how to manage your clients effectively.

You might be thinking, “What does this have to do with multiplying my business?” It has everything to do with it because when you have a practice full of clients who are all doing their own things, it creates a big stress and drain for you and it’s very, very time consuming. (Click here to tweet this.)

When you have each of your clients behaving properly, and I know that sounds funny, you create a problem-free zone. So managing your clients equals a problem-free zone. And when you have a problem-free zone, you have more time for more clients, more time to market, and more time to make more money in your business.

So how do you properly manage your clients? Again, it doesn’t matter if you’re just starting out or if you have a full practice. If you’re just starting out, you need to come from full practice mentality. Even if you have two clients, you’ve got to pretend that you have thirty-two clients and set up the right systems ahead of time.

My number one tip around that is to be very clear. Start by getting yourself really clear on what your standards are for your business. What are the rules that you want your clients to follow in your business? If you have a telephone-based business, then one of the rules could be that you want them to call on time, you want them to call a particular number and you want them to end on time. Why? Because if they don’t, they eat up into other people’s time, etc.

If you have an in-person business, maybe it’s even brick and mortar, then you need to get really clear on what you want them to do when they arrive. There needs to be rules for everything. You might think, “Oh no. Clients are not going to like rules.” I totally disagree. Clients like to know what the rules are.

In fact, I will share with you that about a year ago, I hired a practitioner for a healing session. I paid up front and waited for the appointment day to arrive. I never got an email that instructed whether I was to call or if she would call me. I didn’t get an email that instructing whether this was a Skype session or phone session. I didn’t even know how long our session was going to be. I didn’t know if I was expected to send something in beforehand and frankly, I was a little annoyed by it. I like to know what the rules are so I can follow them.

What I’ve realized over the years, and I’ve been doing this for a very long time, is the more specific you are about what you expect of your clients, the more they enthusiastically follow the rules. Then you have a practice full of yummy people who are behaving properly as opposed to saboteur clients who create havoc and messes in your business.

So to reiterate, the very first thing that you want to do is set up these policies and procedures and communicate your expectations and rules. I have a Policies and Procedures document that I share with my clients and the rules are stated with kindness and warmth but also some sternness so people know that I’m serious about these things.

The key is to communicate it at the beginning of your working relationship so it’s not something that you come back to a few months later when they’re already used to behaving in a certain way.  Here’s the thing. If you get them to do this and understand these at the beginning of your working relationship, even before you get started, you’re likely to never have somebody behave improperly. You can even have them sign off on, “Yes, I understand these policies and procedures.” Then you have a copy of it, they have a copy of it. It’s all good.

But let’s say that in your working relationship with a client, somebody doesn’t show up for a pre-scheduled call or doesn’t pay on time or just goes against one of your policies and procedures, it’s important that you uphold your boundaries. Uphold your standards and your procedures and you remind them that this was something that they agreed to. Again, you have to do it kindly and warmly but the idea is that you must remind them so they get back in line.

I’m going to leave you with a final tip. You always want to play the ‘good cop’ role because if you start chasing clients for money or scolding them for not following your policies and procedures, it’s going to tinge your working relationship. Ideally, you hire an assistant, you have one of your existing team members or a virtual person do that for you so you always stay the ‘good cop’ and they become the ‘bad cop’.

Your Client Attraction Assignment

Define what the rules for your business are when it comes to clients. Write them out and be sure to share them with your clients.

When all of your clients follow your policies and procedures, rules and expectations, it’s smooth sailing. Is it smooth sailing 100 percent of the time? It never will be because you’re dealing with people and each have their own behaviors and quirks and intricacies. You can make it as smooth as possible though and a smoother ride allows you to have a smoother practice, with more room for more clients, more room for marketing and more room to multiply your business.

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