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  • Writer's pictureElaine Thompson

Conquering Those Awkward Moments that Arise as an Entrepreneur

Have you ever encountered a client that took too long to pay? What about a client that took too long to give an answer after expressing genuine interest in your product or service? Maybe you’ve come across a client who seems to be under the impression that all of your time belongs to them and them alone. There are many awkward moments that arise in the life of an entrepreneur. There is no right way to deal with these moments. However, you should remember that making a connection and having a comfortable confrontation is key to dealing with these awkward occurrences.

Here are three occasions when awkward moments arose in my business and how I dealt with them:

Clients Who Take Too Long to Pay

This is pretty common, especially when dealing with clients who are super busy. One of the ways I dealt with this was to have a follow-up strategy. This consists of sending out a second request about two weeks after the first invoice has been sent out. A third request can be sent about a week after if the second request has not been acknowledged. If this doesn’t work, a quick email, text message, or phone call always does the trick. My script usually looks like this: “Hi, Mrs. Poitier. I trust that all is well! I’m following up regarding your payment for the Ingram Spark setup. I don’t see the amount going to the account.” You can also skip the second request and go straight to this method if you’re comfortable with the client. This always works for me, but if you’re still having trouble, you should probably re-evaluate that client. Cease work until the issue has been rectified.

Potential Clients Who Take Too Long to Answer after Expressing Genuine Interest in Your Product of Service

Whenever I get a potential client who is not only genuinely interested in my service but also absolutely needs my service, I get really excited. I love taking calls with clients because it’s an opportunity to not only win over a great client but also to practice my pitching skills. Pitching is really a no-brainer.

Tip: Once you’re really knowledgeable about what you offer and the industry, clients are immediately drawn in and will more than likely purchase your product or service.

One way I deal with clients taking too long is to pray about it. Prayer helps and almost always gives me a feeling of calmness and peace, as it relates to my goal of gaining that client. Another way I deal with this is to send a follow-up message about two to three weeks later. No matter what happens, remember that you will work with whom you’re meant to work with.

Clients Who Feel Your Time Belongs Solely to Them

There have been numerous times when a client becomes so excited about their project that they call and send messages at odd hours. I’ve had clients send me messages at 11 p.m. with hopes of getting a response. I’ve also had clients who would pick up the phone and call me unscheduled, only to talk for hours on end about the project. This did not work for me, as I am always busy and have two small kids. Now, I simply send a message response that goes something like this: “Hi, Mrs. Poitier. I’m sorry I missed your call! I’ll reach out as soon as I can. Feel free to shoot me an email if it’s urgent.” This usually prompts the client to leave a message that I can refer to later in the day. It’s also perfect because it grants me time if I need to do any research in order to answer the client’s question. It’s perfect, especially if you want to remain organized and keep your day on track. Later that evening or the next morning, I either return the client’s call or send a detailed email or message that provides the client with something of value.

For example, Mrs. Poitier wanted to know how she could host a book launch and expressed this via text message after she called. I emailed her some tips, guides, references, and links related to her question. I then asked her to give me a few days so that I could provide more information and a strategy. See — it’s simple! I basically gave her a snack to munch on so that I could have time to prepare the entrée. Remember, clients love value, and if you can give them that in a results-driven environment, then hats off to you. Also, these moments are usually a great opportunity for an up-sell or a referral to another entrepreneur you may know.

Some examples of this are as follows:

“Hi, Mrs. Poitier. If you’re interested, this month I’m offering all strategy calls at half off. Maybe we can sit down and determine a strategy that will bring your book launch vision to life.”

“Hi, Mrs. Poitier. My company facilitates and hosts book launches for our clients for a small fee. Can I email you a list of our packages?”

“Hi, Mrs. Poitier. My company usually teams up with schools, universities, and churches for our book launches. If this is something you’re interested in, we would love to assist you with yours. Would you like me to send you a price quote?”

“Hi, Mrs. Poitier. I’ve sent as much information as I can on book launches. However, this is not our specialty. I know of an amazing company who hosts book launches, not to mention their prices are pretty reasonable. You could try reaching out to them. They’re really good at what they do. Would you like me to provide their contact information?”

The above examples show different ways you can use your present and past clients’ needs as up-sells and to refer them to an entrepreneur you know. Maybe your client needs a website, but this isn’t your specialty. Maybe your client needs assistance with marketing and SEO. Clients are growing as well and will often need further assistance. Think of ways you can add value to that client even after you have serviced them. Think of their call as an opportunity to be of further value to that client without being sales pitchy.

In conclusion, these are three awkward occasions I have encountered with my own clients. Continue to provide value in an emotionally comfortable environment, and you’ll be okay. Yes, awkward moments are uncomfortable, but if you don’t confront the issue, you’ll never get over it. Face it head on and with confidence. Be about your business. Show no fear when confronting these issues. Clients love confidence. They love when a person is sure of themselves. They love the whole package, and this includes you. You are a part of the package. Conquer these odd moments, and deliver beyond expectations.


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