Your Client is Not the Teacher

The Desert of Arizona
Cloudy 53 Degrees

Most of us have been subjected to a decade or two of training where we were taught the art of submitting to authority. This training is more commonly referred to as “school.”

The worst part is that, while we’ve left school, the training program is still running. And it creates real havoc in our work with clients.

The source of the problem is we put our “client” in the same position we put our teachers in school. We place them in a position of authority OVER us.

In an effort to stamp out this type of behavior, I’m reprinting a brief excerpt from the latest issue of the Rainmaker Letter.

So the very first “shift” in how you view the world is to never again allow yourself to perceive your client as an authority figure.

I can just hear the responses now:

“But they pay the bills! The have the money, that means they are in control!”

If you have a response like this, understand that you have work to do. Lots of it. Your training is so embedded that you are not even aware when it is speaking for you.

So I’ll call hogwash. If you want to tell yourself lies like this, be my guest. But you’ll never escape from your own mental prison if you do.

Let’s just take the facts of the matter here to see if we can cut through this specific piece of B.S. once and for all.

When you work with a client, the basis of that relationship is an exchange of value.

Think about what that means. No one is holding a gun to your client’s head forcing them to hire you. If they pay you, they are doing it because they want to. And what does that mean? That means they value what you are bringing to the table MORE than they value their money.

One of the quickest and most profound shifts you can make in your work with clients is to begin working with them as equals in pursuit of a common goal.

If you spend some time thinking about that this weekend, there’s a good chance you come out next week as an entirely new person.