February 19, 2013
Every successful business owner has mastered the art of having FIERCE CONVERSATIONS
Highly successful and wealthy business owners understand that throughout their business realtionships, there will be the need for FIERCE CONVERSATIONS. These conversations can, and often are not handled properly. It is why you look like the bad guy or didn't do a good job. It is also why you won't get a referral from this client. When in reality, the outcome of a situation has nothing to do with you, only the way you delivered the news. No one likes to give "bad news" to their clients. Most times these conversations present themselves when a situation arises that you are not expecting comes up.
Remember: Your clients deserve to hear what they need to hear............not what they want to hear.
It is in how you handle these conversations that can make them more difficult or not. Fierce Conversations require a particular state of mind. The key is PREPERATION. Don't rush into an appointment or a phone call that you are about to deliver "bad news". Take the time to sort out the information, and examine how best to present the facts prior to waking into a meeting or picking up that phone.
Some techniques I have used over the years that make these difficult conversations easier and more professional are:
No drama - There is no room for drama. Keep the information to the facts. "Here is where we are at"..................
Start your sentences with phrases such as "May I have your permission to be frank?"......................... Human nature is to say yes and expect the worse.
Ask them a preperation questions.........."Do you want me to tell you what you want to hear or what you need to hear?"............. Be careful with this one, some "A" type personalities will say "What I want to hear".
Remind them of their desired outcome such as "Based on what you need"......................................
If you are not liking the way the conversation is going and feel the client is not really listening to you, try.................."That is not in your best interest. This is why.............."
DO NOT USE "DISLCAIMERS" when having a difficult conversation. Disclaimers are sentences that start with phrases such as "You may not agree, but", and "I could be wrong, but"....... If you do use these type phrases, human nature is that whatever you follow the phrase with, they are thinking "then you probably are wrong...". There is no need for disclaimers. The facts are the facts.
You are the professional being paid for your service. Think of the medical profession. Does a doctor start a difficult conversation such as telling a patient they are very sick with "I could be wrong but" or "You may or may not agree, but"? They do not!