Why You Should Give Up Trying to Get Clients

business people meeting in office
business people meeting in office

In just a few moments, you’ll understand why you should “give up” trying to get clients. The secret is to make a shift from focusing on outcomes to focusing on process. Please read that again, because you really want that to sink in. It’s completely the opposite of what we’ve all been trained to do in this culture.

I’ve been doing this for quite some time. And let me tell you, it’s a skill you need to develop. Because most of us in the Western world have had the importance of outcome drilled into us. I can tell you that obsessing about outcome is a big reason so many “successful” folks are downright miserable on the inside.

When you take your focus off of outcomes and start putting it on process, you feel an enormous amount of freedom. More than that, you are able to act in spite of what you might be feeling at any one moment. If you don’t commit to a process, then the actions you take are at the whim of something else. And that “something else” is usually the way you are feeling.

So if it isn’t clear how this whole idea of detaching yourself from the pursuit of outcomes can be applied to every single service business in the world, let me hit it home… in bold type this time.

The Secret is to Give Up Your Pursuit of Getting Clients and Customers [OUTCOME] and to Invest Yourself in the System of Getting Clients and Customers [PROCESS]

So that means you have to get about the business of building the process and then working the process. The focus is on the process, not on willing things to come out of it. (As if you control that.)

Freedom is found in process. Process allows you to stop focusing on manipulating people or things to achieve objectives. The alternative is to observe as prospective clients and customers journey through the process. This is the way you engineer a complete detachment from the pursuit of a particular outcome.

Think of a bunch of concentric circles—like orbits in a solar system. I put the prospective client on the outermost ring. This is nothing more than a complete and total stranger. At the very center of all of the circles is the paying client.

To go from one circle to the next one closer to the center, the prospective client must walk through a door. I’ve named these doors “decision points.” You can have many doors from one level to the next or you can have one door. The question you can ask when you are creating these doors is…

What Would Have to Be Made Available At This Point to Make the Prospect WANT to Walk Through to the Next Level?

Take, for example, a consulting business where engagements begin with a paid consultation. To build the process for that business, we actually work backwards from the point at which the prospect has just paid for a consultation.

So we start from there, after they’ve paid the consultation fee and have scheduled the call with the Principal in the firm. That’s fairly close to the inner most circle of paid client.

So what needs to be true to go from phone inquiry to a scheduled consult?

In this case, there should be certain questions answered to make sure a consult is even warranted. It should be made clear what’s going to happen during the consult, why it’s going to happen, and what’s expected of the prospective client before, during and after. The goal is to script the whole thing as closely as possible. We’re not necessarily trying to produce a desired outcome. We’re simply facilitating a journey through the process. Whatever happens on that journey happens.

Next up…

What needs to happen to generate a PHONE inquiry requesting a paid consultation?

Well first of all, we can’t call it a free phone consultation, for goodness sake. So that means we need to turn this service into a “product.” Imagine we are putting it in a box to be displayed on the shelf. What would the packaging be like? What would it be called? What would be the value proposition? What’s in it for the client? How do we communicate that? What problem is it going to solve for the them?

So what needs to happen to get the knowledge of the availability of the phone inquiry (and the trust required to pick up the phone and reveal personal information) into the hands of as many qualified people as possible?

And the questions continue… until you’ve reverse engineered your way back to the outer most ring of the system. Now you have a process. Or at least the beginnings of one.

The trick is not to get hung up emotionally on that outcome. It’s about focusing your energy on the actions you can control—which are the ones you use to strategize, build, monitor and improve the process.

Letting the desire for the outcome suck your energy is where the trap is. Plus, it’s just miserable to set your sights on wanting something that’s ultimately not in your control.

Emotional attachment to the outcome requires energy you don’t have to waste. You don’t get hung up on the outcome when it’s going your way just as you don’t get hung up on it when it’s not going your way. That’s not where your focus is directed.

The point is that pursuing the outcome DIRECTLY is a recipe for frustration. Committing to the pursuit of the PROCESS that could generate the outcome has a completely different feeling. And when you’re in the business of selling YOURSELF to clients, this commitment to the PROCESS provides you with a built in emotional detachment from the result.

And the funny part is that the detachment you’ll develop is universally attractive to other human beings. Try it out and you’ll see…

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