“The more motivated the client, the more motivated I become.”
Trying to understand those around you is important and when it comes to understanding your clients in any business it’s extremely important. While you may not be able to cater to every single need of your clients, you have to know what makes them tick if you’re ever going to be successful with them. You need to know what brought them to you, why they have stayed, what they want to learn, and how they want to feel through the process. It is up to you to figure this out since you’re the one offering to help solve a problem by providing a service.
If you don’t have any of these intuitions or know how to find out what your people want you might as well close up shop and collect unemployment while you find another career…or just learn to get what I’m talking about. There are simple ways to understand the people around you and to get insight to what they need you to understand in order to accomplish both of your goals together.
1. Ask Questions
This will lead to a number of things which are all clues to keep you constantly absorbing and engaging in the right way. You not only hear what others are thinking and feeling, you will see some things in their reactions to your questions. Now you’re not expected to play doctor or psychologist at any point, but if insight allows you to perfect your job to reach the desired task then you should be aware of that importance.
It’s ok to care about your clients, especially in any health industry! It is baffling that detachment is something that is often taught in U.S. health industries and I personally think it’s wrong. While there are lines that definitely do not need to be crossed, getting to know the people you’re helping on a deep level should be a very fulfilling process for everyone. Asking questions will give you so much in terms of getting your client to interact while gauging mood, movement, body language, voice tone, and what they are actually saying. Without questions you will have a hard time getting results with certain people.
2. Lead the way
People mostly hire other people for a service because they need help, right? If there’s one thing I’ve realized over my career and while hiring others it’s that we all want leaders. I certainly do not want to hire someone that makes me feel uncertain about what they are doing. While I may be the boss, I want to be guided through the process I hired you for, especially if I don’t know how to carry out the task myself. Be sure to rest any doubts and answer any questions the best you can. This doesn’t mean lie your ass off either…it means take on jobs you are competent for. If you are ever unsure then let the client know you would like to try to help if you can, but if you can’t you’ll try to steer them to someone who is more capable of handling whatever situation it is they are needing help with.
By doing this you will secure that you are not trying to just get someones money. You will provide them with confidence that you don’t need to attempt to overcompensate by guessing which is a highly insecure tactic used by con men and charlatans. Build a relationship through honesty and trust, not with manipulation and bullshit.
Be a strong leader. Don’t be afraid to be wrong, but you better be right about a lot since that is what you were most likely hired for, Knowing your business.
3. Know their background
This alone will give you a lot of insight as to who someone is and what they need. You should always have people write some things about their history or themselves when signing up with you. This should be part of an initial consult of some kind or within an initial interview. As soon as I have someone’s profile I review it with them and at that point I usually already have a lot of what I need to tap into this person’s mentality enough to start motivating them to help me, help them, succeed. The more motivated the client, the more motivated I become. I make sure to let people know how well I want to see them do and I have a vested interest in this too. This isn’t because I’m selfish, this is because it becomes a synergistic effort through the process that inherently helps me step my game up to help them reach whatever goal they have. You learn a lot through experience and everyone has to start somewhere. Knowing this don’t ever bullshit anyone and don’t ever overstate what you are capable of because no one likes a phony.
Once a backround is established you will usually know how to find out where they are at mentally and emotionally. This will be the key to getting the most out of your clients and needs to be a main focus, whether you realize it or not. Understanding emotion is a delicate process and will determine how far you can actually go.
4. Learning Empathy & being sympathetic
Now there is no surefire way to fully go through what your client is going through no matter what the situation is, but I truly feel in order to understand people you have to give an honest thought about what they are going through and at least try to imagine what it would be like. Do this while keeping in mind what you know about them. I’m a firm believer that women are born with far more empathy than men naturally and it shows for the most part, at least in my experience.
Men may not be as natural at having empathy, but that doesn’t mean this is something that cannot be learned or understood better with much thought, and even practice. I don’t need to go into another side topic on this matter, but I think it’s worth noting and considering, always.
Being able to truly sympathize at the right times may be the key to understanding your client and when to listen closest. I have clients that say I have no sympathy and I don’t care about their complaints in jest, but they wouldn’t come back if they truly thought this. They wouldn’t stay with me 4-7 years of their life. No one wants to spend that much time with anyone who lacks empathy and sympathy, in all honesty.
We joke, but when it’s time to really have sympathy on a deep level this is extremely important to understanding humans in general let alone your clients. You can fake empathy or sympathy, but it’s not healthy and should be avoided at all costs. This is one place you can’t “fake it til you make it”. You need to know what these feelings will lead to if you’re going to have a resonating compassion for the people you are being hired to help. This should be 100% real and if you cannot make this real then you should move on from whatever it is you’re doing.
These are only a few tools to help you understand the people you are trying to help. This is a learning experience you will get with time. If you truly want to understand your business, your clients, and their foundations you will have to put a lot of effort into it. The more you enjoy getting to know people and problem solving the more you will understand this.
Go treat your clients with respect, loyalty, and consideration!