Not everything is plain sailing, so make sure you talk about the choppy waters too.
It may be that you offer a product or service where, from the get go, it’s brilliant, the result happens instantly and everyone is happy. In which case, you can stop reading now.
Or it may be (more likely) that there’s some ‘getting used to’ or a ‘learning curve’ before the good stuff happens when people buy your Thing. Perhaps you ask people to un-pick something and put it back together (back together better, of course, but still the un-picking is needed). Perhaps you ask people to park some actions or ideas for now to get really clear or set on what needs to happen first (I’m well known for stopping people racing ahead with the first idea for an offer they have until we’re all set and super-clear on their Thing). Perhaps you need to explain that, while there is an improvement or transformation coming as a result, the road to get there is, well, not built by Romans!
In any instance, where there is a dip or detour on the way to better results when people buy your Thing, the best course of action is to warn them of this ‘scenic’ route. Trying to pretend it’s all going to smell of roses from Day One is, frankly, the same as wearing glasses with the same hue (i.e. rose-tinted). It may even make your marketing and sales process sound a little unbelievable (unless, of course, you have case study after case study where it’s all perfect from Day One). If there is any kind of ‘bedding-in’ or change in focus/actions/habits required, then forewarned is forearmed.
If you let people know what the ‘journey’ is going to look like, then they can pack accordingly. If they know there will be times that they will want to go back to how it was, warn them they’ll think that and explain (in advance) that this is exactly what they know isn’t working for them so to ignore that thought when it shows up. If you know there will be times when changing a habit, or way of working, is going to be ‘annoying’ for a short time until they start to see the results, or appreciate the improvements, warn them that this will happen.
The simplest example of this is delegating (anything!). If there is something that you currently do that you then decide to delegate, there is always that ‘learning curve’ of briefing or teaching the person you delegate to your ‘system’ or way of working. Or, if you’ve (sensibly) hired someone whose Thing it is to do they job, they may well do it differently to you and, while you know it’s ‘better’ (not least because you’re not doing it!), it might take some getting used to. The key is always to keep your eye on the prize, of course. In the instance of delegating, you’re freeing up time you didn’t have before to do something else (your Thing, hang out with your friends and family, sleep, etc!).
Share the thoughts you know your clients may have when the detour happens in advance so they recognise them when they do. That way, not only do you look good (they’ll be thinking: "Hang on, I knew this was going to happen and it has–wow, she’s good!") but you also put your clients at ease as it’s actually more believable that the process isn’t pain free.
And always remind your clients of the prize–there is a result they are buying from you and it’s more important than ever to remind them where they said they wanted to get to when they are on the detour of getting it to work perfectly. Sometimes the end result is just around the learning curve, so remind them that’s the way to get there and they’ll be more confident. Thing done.
Want to talk more about this?