Money Mindset: Are clients overstepping their boundaries?
By AnnemarieCross on April 14, 2012
“Under promise yet over deliver.”
I’m sure that’s a term you’re familiar with and something you strive to provide each of your clients.
But what happens when you get a client that constantly oversteps their boundaries by:
- demanding way too much of your time (especially in comparison to what they’re paying you for);
- expecting you to drop everything you’re doing to work on their ‘urgent’ request;
- frequently asking for discounts (despite the results they’re achieving through working with you); or
- grumbling each time they receive your invoice, requiring you to validate what you’ve billed (which is considerably lower than what you should be charging for the amazing value and talent you offer).
As a women entrepreneur, it’s only natural to want your clients to love you and the work you’re doing. However caving in to their every whim (that’s above and beyond what they’re paying you for) is not the way to gain their respect.
Giving in to a demanding client is a common money leak, which unfortunately devalues your time (your self-esteem and self-belief/self-worth) and WILL continue to prevent you from getting paid what you’re worth!
If you were to calculate the ‘real’ cost of working with a demanding client – you’d be quite shocked. Not only should you take into account the extra (unpaid) time you’re spending on their project, you also need to factor in:
- the time it takes for you to regain focus on the project you were working on prior to their interruption;
- the time you’re not able to work on your other clients’ projects (who ARE paying you what you’re worth);
- the cost of you not being able to spend valuable time looking for other business opportunities or working with your ideal client (who loves and pays you what you’re worth);
- the cost of all of the negative energy (i.e. being annoyed, anxious and frustrated) which can seriously impact your quality of work and productivity across other areas of your business.
Do I need to go on?
As you can see the physical, emotional and psychological costs associated with working with a demanding client far outweigh the amount of money they are paying you.
Saying ‘no’ to a client’s constant demands does not mean that you’re providing them any less than your best.
In fact, it does the opposite. Standing your ground (when responding to a challenging client’s ongoing demands) means you are valuing and respecting the expertise you offer and setting the standards for how you would like your clients to respect and treat you, which will have a huge impact on your self-belief, your self-esteem, and your self-worth.
If you want to take your business to next level and get paid what you’re worth for the amazing results you deliver your clients – you NEED to address this.
Are you ready to stand firm by setting (and sticking to) your boundaries, revisiting (and streamlining) your client list to make room for ideal clients who value you, your expertise and are willing to pay you what you’re worth?
Here are 3 steps to help you take back control:
1. Decide and take action
Constantly worrying and harboring feelings of hopelessness and despair are not going to fix the problem. YOU are the only person who can change the situation.
Don’t wait for something to happen. The cost to both you and your business is far too high.
Take the necessary steps immediately to make sure the situation no longer occurs; even if that means that you and your ‘challenging’ client part ways.
Remember, you’re not losing a client – you’re making room for your ideal client, who will respect you, your services and the results you deliver and will therefore pay you what you’re worth!
Decide and take action.
2. Set your boundaries
Develop a range of packages and be very clear about what each package includes.
If your client requires more of your time – they should be willing to pay for it.
If they want to be able to contact you via email or via phone between your scheduled meetings or if they want their projects to have highest priority in your work calendar – they need to invest in one of your higher-level packages.
You are worth it after all – aren’t you?
Remember, you are in control of the situation. Set your boundaries by having clearly defined packages that your clients can choose, depending on their needs and budget. If they can’t agree to your packagers/boundaries – they’re not your ideal client.
Move on and find a client who is.
3. Stick to your boundaries
Have a client that’s constantly pressuring you to overstep your boundaries by demanding way more than was stated in your package/agreement?
Take a deep breath and say (something like):
“[Name of client] I’d be happy to do that for you. At the moment you’re on my Bronze package, which includes [list some of the inclusions and benefits].
And, by investing in my Gold package, you’ll get even more of my undivided attention, so I’ll be able to complete the additional tasks you’ve just requested. We’ll also be able to work on [list some of the items in your higher end package] so that you will [list some of the other benefits the client will achieve].
I can email you more details and the authorization form right now. What’s your best email address?”
This is just one example of what you could say to respond in a confident and firm approach. If they increase their level of investment – great! If not, then remind them what is included in the package they are paying you for. And stick to what you include in that package.
If they’re still unwilling to respect your boundaries, I’d suggest that they’re not your ideal client and it would be best for you to let them go.
Remember, standing in your power with money by building an empowered money mindset so that you can charge what you’re worth and get it – starts with you!
You need to value your time and expertise in order for your clients to.
If they don’t, then parting ways is the best option and will allow you to make room for clients who will! Are you ready?
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