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Suzanne Banta

#004: “I want a refund”
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Welcome to What To Say Wednesday, where every week we dig into a new question, a new complaint, a new something that your client is saying to you, and we help you fill in the answer. On this week’s episode of What To Say Wednesday we dig in to the dreaded question of “I want a refund.” Stay tuned.

Welcome to the Client Whisperer Show. I’m your host Tony Banta, and I am the Client Whisper. I’ve spent over a decade running multiple six and seven figure client businesses and I’ve learned that the secret to success in a client business comes down to one thing, leadership. Bad client behavior is the enemy. And with the right curriculum, infrastructure and mindset, you can lead your clients to great success and scale your business the easy way,.

That dreaded question of “I want a refund.” How many times have you gotten that question? Couple? Well, it’s tough. We’ve led a lot of clients through that very question, and it’s one of the most challenging ones that you’ll ever get, which is why we’re doing it on the very first episode of What To Say Wednesday.

So here’s the the principled approach. You should only ever refund a client for one of two reasons. The first reason is because you should have never enrolled them in the first place. If you find that for whatever reason it seemed like the client was going to be a good fit, they passed your existing sales filters and you let them into your program. You brought them on as a client. If you find that your initial sales filters were wrong and that you need to amend them, that you’re going to amend them, then absolutely refund the client. If you’re not going to intentionally amend your sales filters and most of the time I would advise you not to honestly, then you should not refund the client because your program didn’t work.

Now, there is a second reason why you can refund the client. This is the second reason why you would want to refund and that is because you want to save a headache. Yeah. This is one of the age old questions and we dig into this quite a bit in the client whisperer show in general is this idea of when do you dig deeper because that’s the right thing to do for the client and so this is the opposite of that. The second reason of why you might want to refund a client is the opposite of that. You’re not digging in deeper, right? You’re not making the client face a financial reality of their own decision making.

So I want you to be very careful about this and only make that this decision intentionally, it’s critically important. But in terms of running your business, sometimes if you know that a client is just a pain or if you have a relationship that you want to spare and you and you know you haven’t put out a lot of work, it’s not going to hurt you to cut that client, that refund check, then in some cases it’s just the best thing to do to refund the client and to not worry about it.

However, and this is a big, however, you should only do that if you really are going to save a headache. Because generally speaking, I would tell you not to. Generally speaking, if the first criteria is not met and you would still take on a client like that, then you should not give the client a refund.

So let’s talk about what to say. What to say when the client says, when the client calls you or messages you and says, “I want a refund.” What do you say? Well, the very first thing that I would always say when coaching a client through something challenging, and this is almost always something challenging, is “what do you mean?” Or “tell me more.” So if a client calls and says that we’ll, we’ll take Joe as a, for instance, Joe calls and says, “Hey, you know, Tony, great. You know, it’s been okay working with you, but we haven’t gotten the results that we were intending on or something shifted in our business and I’d really like a refund.” “Hey Joe, tell me more.” Tell me what’s going on. And then you just want to ask that question or maybe one or two follow up questions and just let them spill. Just let them spill all of their guts out on the table of why they want a refund, why that’s important to them.

And here’s what you want to be looking for. You want to be looking for coaching opportunities because your number one job is not to just deliver the client a service that’s, you know, so many people treat fulfillment that way. Hey, here’s the, here’s the training, here’s the coaching. Here you go, go. Good luck. Your job is to be a steward, is to be a champion of your clients success and you can’t run away from that job just when it gets tough and I want to refund is one of those critical moments.

Maybe it is appropriate and as you’re talking to the client or messaging with the client and if the client says this over messenger or any kind of of text-based communication, I would definitely encourage you to bring them on the phone. Just like you’d bring them on the phone to sell them. Just like you would bring them on the phone to sell them into a continuation program, get them on the phone. Because what this job is right here is a job of re enrollment. So when the client says, I want a refund, the biggest thing that you to figure out is is why is the process not working for them? And to figure out how you can reenroll them in your proven process. Now, if you don’t have a proven process, that’s another conversation for another day.

You need that. But in terms of this conversation, in terms of the question of what to say when they ask for a refund, get them on the phone. Look for those opportunities where you can re enroll them in the process. Look at where their pain points are. This is just like a sales call at this point. You’re looking for where the, you know, where are their pain points and where has their understanding or their approach gone wrong.

Here’s the broader piece that you want to be driving. You want to be trying to get to the conversation under the conversation. You want to keep asking questions to peel back the layers so that you can get to the real underlying struggle that they’re having. Because nine times out of 10, nine, nine times out of 10 what’s happening is your client, the same reason why they’re asking for a refund, why they’re having trouble in your program is the same exact reason why they’re struggling to get the outcome that they want, the outcome that they came to you to get in the first place.

So the fact that this is coming up and that they’re asking for a refund, that they’re putting that out on the table, treat that as a cry for help because they are asking for help. The help that they’re asking probably shouldn’t be the help that you give them, right? The help that they’re asking for is, uh, can I, can you give me my money back? The help that you’re going to give them is you’re gonna give them the leadership and the coaching through that so that they are enrolled by the end of that call. And you can always, you know, say, Hey, Hey, like, let me think about this and I’ll get back to you. Right? It doesn’t have to be just on that call, but by the end of this overarching conversation, you want the client to be enrolled in whatever process is going to work for them.

Or second option, you want them to understand the clear boundary that’s present. So they can’t enroll in a program, you know, download your, your resources, take up your time, spend time with you, and then just decide that that’s not right for them. It’s okay for them to decide that that’s not right for them. If you have a business opportunity offer, or even if you have a lifestyle offer, they can go through that and they can come to the conclusion that what you’re promising them isn’t right for them, that’s totally fine.

What’s not okay is for them to consume those resources, make that commitment and then back out of that commitment without bearing the consequence of that decision. Because, and we’ll get into this on another episode, uh, because you want the client to have a feedback loop. That’s only fair for the client to have a feedback loop for themselves and a feedback loop is, you know I, how did we learn how to walk? Right? We got up and we stumbled until we fell, and it was the falling. It was some of the pain from the falling that gave us the information to say, Hey, let’s try not falling this time. Let’s keep going. And it would be cruel for you not to

give that feedback loop to your clients. So that’s what to say when a client asks for a refund. This has been What To Say Wednesday. See you next Wednesday.

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