One of the things I do is coaching for new consultants and other experts in their field, who are suppressing a burning desire to change the world with their work. Many of my clients complain that one of their biggest frustrations is that their clients are just so stupid! They complain that clients just don’t understand the simplest things about what they (my clients) do, and even when they’ve been told the same thing several times, they still do the stuff they’ve been told not to.
Well here’s some free coaching:
One thing you absolutely MUST remember as an expert in your field: your customers really ARE stupid … compared to you, in your field. Of course they don’t know stuff that to you is really simple. That’s why they employ you in the first place. If they were not stupid – about the stuff where you are an expert – they wouldn’t need your knowledge, skills and expertise at all. And you wouldn’t have a business.
Every single one of us has a unique set of filters – based on experience, upbringing, culture, even height and weight, and a whole myriad of other things. Something I keep hammering home in my coaching for new consultants is that it’s our ability to apply those filters in service of our employers and clients that makes us so valuable. As I said in this post about happiness at work from accepting and owning our unique genius, each one of is – literally – one in 7 billion. So of course our clients don’t understand the world the same way we do!
More coaching for new consultants:
Just because it’s easy for you, that doesn’t mean it has low value to your clients. We humans seem to think business (and life) is suppose to be a bit difficult. So we have a tendency to believe that if it’s not hard work or difficult, then we don’t deserve to get paid lots of money for doing it. So that knowledge that you’ve had since just after you started out – that’s new and difficult for them. And all those smart ways of doing things that you’ve developed over the years – that’s really clever, and really valuable for them. In my coaching for new consultants I make a point of helping clients see where their value lies – and guess what? They think I’m rather clever!
Most of us have heard the tale of the maintenance guy called out to fix the big production unit. The whole production process is stopped, the factory manager is tearing his hair out. and the engineer walks around the unit, tapping it lightly with a wrench, until he suddenly stops, picks u a larger wrench and gives the machine casing a mighty welt – and the machine bursts back into life. Later, the factory manager queries his $1000 invoice, saying all the guy did was give the machine a whack, and demands a full breakdown. The engineer sends it back, and it reads:
To: Whacking machine casing – $1
To: Knowing where to whack – $999!
Final coaching for new consultants
The same is true for you – don’t judge what you do by how easy or simple it is for you, value it by what it gives your clients. Think about what it’s costing for the problem you solve to go un-fixed, and where you can, put an actual dollar amount on that. Then when you compare what you charge with what they are paying, you will both realise what a great deal they are getting.
So remember – your customers are allowed to be idiots. In fact, something I say in the first session of my coaching for new consultants is … the more your clients are idiots, the more you are going to earn!