*The notes below have been transcribed from the LIVE video*
When I first started in sales at 21 years old, all of my mentors were dudes and they have a different way of doing things. That’s OK. There’s something wrong with it but we’re just built different.
We ARE different! Look at us! We’re different! Our brains don’t light up in conflict. Our brains light up when we’re in a community, when we’re nurturing, when we’re helping other people. And so today I want to talk about something that is coveted in the consulting world. And that is the all-mighty retainer clients. So the bottom ones is how do you get those amazing retainer clients and keep them? So here’s what I want you to do. I want you to channel I got my little notes here. You know how I love my notebook. I get my clipboard retired for the moment. How do you channel that inner you to keep going with your retainer clients?
So let’s get in the right frame of mind. I want you to think about the last time you had your vehicle into the mechanic. I want you to channel that experience. Think about that experience. Have you had your car in for maintenance? Have you ever experienced that where you were the one who did it take your car in for maintenance, whether it was because of her a little hiccup and it’s “Giddyup!” or whether there was an actual, you know, oil change, something simple. Think about it. You need your car. You have it in, you dropped it off. How do you feel right now? Do you feel like I’m in good hands, or “Oh, crap, What’s going to happen?” Tell me in the comments. How do you feel when you drop off that car?
I guess it depends on your relationship with a mechanic. Is this a mechanic you’ve been to a bunch of times? Is this a trusted environment? did your best friend just have her car in there and so you got the thumbs up this with a good legit place? They’re not going to take advantage of you?
Let’s assume that that is the case. Let’s assume that Pam says, “I’m nervous.” Right. So we all are. Even if we have all this, we’re always a little bit nervous because what we know, once they get going under the hood, Once a person goes under the hood, what’s going to happen? They’re going to find more stuff. When you’ve signed one client, when you have one person that you’re working with, you’re mechanic now. they’re the person sitting in the waiting room. They’re a little nervous, even if you come highly recommended. Even if you’ve done great work.
You know you’re going to find more stuff. They’ve hired you for one very specific thing. They want you to do one thing and you’ve done that thing. And the time that thing you’ve accomplished it is almost up.
So, if for example, in this case you’re the mechanic and you’re under the hood and you’re get the oil changes almost done and a routine maintenance check is almost finished. They always go back out into the lobby or they call you, depending on if you’ve left or not, and they talk to you before they close the hood. Before they take it off the list.
Is that right? Can you guys agree with me on that? If you were the customer it’s going to help you be the seller a little bit better. We need to light up when we are showing empathy. You need to understand where the other person is coming from so you can channel your inner mechanic and then channel the inner experience that you’ve had. Being in the waiting room. Your car is still on a lift. It went in for routine maintenance. The mechanic comes out and wants to talk to you for a minute.
You feel a little nervous like, “Oh, jeez, what did they find? What are they going to rake me into now?” Right? But here’s the thing, you need your car. You don’t want it just running OK. You also don’t want to get raked over the coals. So this is a person you have that you have established your trust, you’ve already purchased something from them, you’re saying, “OK, well tell me what’s going on.” And they always say, “What?” this is. So, step number one is, before the work is done, You set up a call
If you’re the mechanic you go out in the lobby and you talk to them. If you’re setting up a call or meeting them in person, before the work is done, you make that appointment to talk to them.
Step number two is you start with all the things that you noticed while you were under the hood.
These are the secrets, my friends, have had to have retainer clients.
There a moral obligation to tell you if your brakes are going bad? Is there more obligation to tell you if your wipers are going bad? Because that might affect your visibility and your traction on the road when you’re driving on the road with your kids in the car. And that is not OK. They have to at least tell you. so I want you to feel like that mechanic and like think, “It’s my moral obligation before I’m done with this person, to let them know what I noticed.”
Now you want to have a conversation with them about what else you noticed. It’s your moral obligation to tell them. If you didn’t, How are they going to know? How are they ever going to know? It’s not about the you know what questions to ask. It’s that most people don’t even know that there are questions to ask. So in this case, a way to channel the inner customer, channel the inner mechanic. You all get in a situation before you know now the role of the mechanic. You also know how the customer feels. I want you to empathize with both sides and I want you to understand that now as you, being the mechanics role, you now have a moral obligation to tell them what you noticed.
Number three, the final secret here is you can give them lots of different options on ways to move forward. Right. You haven’t completely finished the work yet, but you want to have this conversation because your moral obligation to tell them all the things that you notice that still need to be done. That requires their attention, right. I mean it says So you signed this client, you’re working with them, you’re helping them they’re 90% there. They’re almost done. You have to have this conversation with them. But here is where people miss. They miss the opportunity. they think, well it’s either, “give him the wiper blades and the filter,” or nothing. No! Because you’re not going to see just two things. I guarantee you that at this point, all of your experience and all of your education are going to be very key in your next conversation.
This is where you begin to educate that customer. You’ve already built a relationship with them, They’ve already paid you something. You’re going to educate them on what they should be thinking about next, and you’re going to take on that role of Trusted Advisor. This is your chance to be that Trusted Advisor, so that no matter whether they continue to work with you right now because you will make them an offer
for continued support, or an offer for a referral. Some sort of continued work. Or you’re going to set up a call for down the road.
So remember, now go back to that. Back to the dealership where you sit in the lobby. You’re the customer. The guy comes out, your car’s still on the lift, He says, “Listen, I was under the hood and I noticed that your brakes are nearly done. We could change the brake pads now or in six weeks.”
The bottom line is, I don’t want to be driving down the road when my brake pads go out, and I don’t want to drive in an unsafe vehicle. And so it’s his moral obligation to tell me, and it’s my option to choose now or later. You take on that role a Trusted Advisor you educate them, you teach them about the things that you noticed, and then you give them a chance to either choose pieces of it now, “Hey, we can handle this part now. It’s only this much.” Or, We can handle all of it now. It’s only this much”
Or, “We can handle part of it and then come back in six weeks.” If you have a client that you’re nearly done working with, I want you to connect with them. I want you to notice, I want you to get your moral obligation, and I want you to have that conversation where you either offer extended service, extended support, offer for referrals.
At the very least, set up a call right before your work – your current work ends – this is the key. If you just do this part: set up an appointment. It doesn’t have to be in person. It can can be literally a phone call right now on the books, on your phone, on your calendar right now before that work is over, where even if they’re not going to buy anything else even though you think they should because you’ve noticed a lot of things, you set up at next call to check in. I can always change an appointment, but I’m going to make that decision now to have a 10 minute phone call six weeks, 12 weeks, down the road and it’s on the books now so that when I call them back, whether I in this case on the mechanic now, that maintenance check in. That “how’s it going” The last time we talked, you had this this and this and I noticed X Y and Z. How is that going.
You ask the question and take on that role of Trusted Advisor and then they say, “Well I tried this, and I tried that,” Now you can ask more questions. “Where are you looking for support now?”. And then, all I want you to do is offer more support. Do what you do best. Continue the love. You are empathetic. you are loving. You are caring. You are supportive. You are helpful, and all you’re doing is guiding them down the path.If you don’t, how are they going to know? You can take on that role of Trusted Advisor. You can help them by offering them, by noticing, by telling them what you notice by offering them continued support. You are not hurting them. You are helping them and it is your moral obligation to do so. You need to at least bring it up. And at the very least, if they’re not ready to move and take action on it now and pay you for it, then set up another call in the future. A 10-minute phone call check- in.
These are my retainer client secrets.