Don’t Give Away the Bank Because of the Relationship
Being a small business owner today has lots of challenges. Closing the deal is one of the hardest. The challenge is convincing prospects that your products and services are worth their money. By focusing on features and benefits and not costs, you will often find success. But when it comes to family and friends, the challenge is quite different.
Your family and friends already know how talented, smart and creative you are. They have been watching you run your business and keep the lights on. They hear when your customers get their needs met and refer you to others. So convincing them that your business offers value is not the challenge. The challenge is how to convince them that the moment they start asking for help and advice about your line of work, they become your customers.
For the sake of the relationship, the first thing you want to do is help them solve the same problems that you solve for your customers but get paid a fee. Stop here – there are a few things that you must keep in mind as you attempt to help your loved ones.
- Remember that you are in business to make a profit. When your conversation begins to delve deeply into what you do in your business and provide solutions, it becomes a consultation. You will gain respect and truly help your family and friends when you offer to make time on your calendar to discuss their concerns and make recommendations for solutions and require a fee for your time and expertise.
- Don’t give away the bank because of the relationship. It is important that mutual respect exist in any relationship. By reminding your relation that what they need is part of what you do in your business helps them understand that they should pay your fee for the time and solutions you provide for them. Don’t offer them your products and services out of obligation.
- Be willing to pay for products and services that your family and friends have to offer. By taking the lead and offering to pay, you establish a standard that everyone will pay for what they get.
- Learn to speak about what you offer in general terms and not give away your trade secrets. You have worked hard to attain your expertise. You have invested your time and money to become the subject matter expert in your line of work. When you are asked your opinion about a topic for which your business addresses, speak in general terms and don’t tell all so that the recipient then becomes empowered and can take the situation from there. Give them just enough information to establish that your business has the answer to their problem and then book a consultation on your schedule to offer the full service.
It is often hard to hold back on a friend or family member when you have the answers they need. But you must remember that you are in business to make money. The best thing to do to maintain a mutual relationship of respect is to offer your full business services, along with a fee, and to expect the same. In doing this, you have no risk of feeling resentment, used or a loss of fees. Yes…your friends and family are clients too, but you don’t have to give away the bank because of your relationship.