It’s What to Say Wednesday, and today we’re digging into what you say when your client says, “That’s just not in alignment.” Okay, stay tuned.
Welcome to The Client Whisperer™ Show. I’m your host Tony Banta, and I am the Client Whisperer. 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. No, not talking about your wheels or the tires on your car, not talking about symmetry in origami, talking about alignment, physical, spiritual mindset, alignment in what you’re doing. And yes, I was making fun of that just a little bit. Thank you very much.
“You want the good news or the bad news?”
I actually had a client ask me this, or say this to me a year ago or so with some of the sales tactics and some of the things we were asking them to do while they were leading their team. I had them say to me, “That just doesn’t feel in alignment to me.” And it was a really interesting question, to be honest. My first reaction was to say, “I don’t think that they’re a great client because they’ve just described money that they’ve wasted trying to do it the wrong way. Team members that they weren’t really treating well because they weren’t able to manage through that problem, and then they’re asked to do some tough work and the excuse is, ‘That’s just not in alignment.’”
You want the good news? Now, the good news is alignment is a really interesting objection to someone’s success. You know, on Friday we were talking about the question of identity and what is someone’s identity. And the amazing news is that when someone’s talking about alignment, they already have an identity that is one of focusing on what is aligned for them. They’re actually asking those questions and looking at that introspectively, checking in on themself. They’re not just a victim. They’re not just the little dinghy being thrown around on the waves of the ocean because they’re focused on being aligned. So that can be a really powerful thing.
The trouble is, though, with alignment, alignment is a mindset technique. Getting aligned in what you’re doing. Just like any technique, it can be used to push you away from your goals and away from the light and away from everything that you want to do, or it can be used to help push you closer to all of those things. It only depends on what you bring into the situation. Let’s dig into it.
What do you say when someone says, “That just isn’t in alignment with me”? This is super similar to what we said last What to Say Wednesday where we talked about the person that says, “I would do anything for these results, but I won’t do that.” This is super similar to that, but different. They’re not saying they won’t do it. They’re saying that it doesn’t feel in alignment.
Maybe as I described that distinction, you’re thinking about this as well. Do you see the difference? It doesn’t mean a no. It means, “I need to feel in alignment.” And this is the powerful thing that I always look for when I’m talking to clients, when I’m listening to clients, when I’m either working with clients directly or when I’m helping a client perfect their program and coach them on their technique. I’ll listen in to their own calls, to what they’re doing and I’ll listen in to what the client is saying and I’ll look for the openings, because a lot of times we may hear that and that may interpret to us, “Nope, they’re not doing it.” And if that’s really what they’re saying, if they really come to you and say, “No, I’m not doing that”, and you can’t help them to see, you can’t ask a couple of questions to uncover what’s really going on and help them make the decision that they want to do it, then in this instance with this client, I was right, they are just a bad client, but that’s not what they said.
They said, “This doesn’t feel in alignment to me.” So we have two options, one totally apparent. Okay, let me take on the burden as the coach or service provider to give them other options for what does feel in alignment. That’s the heavy option. That’s the option where we have to take on the work for the client. I never liked that option. Not because I’m afraid of hard work. Do you know how hard we work over here at Venture Greatly? We go through seasons, which I feel like is a really healthy way to do it, but right now I’m spending extra time recording these podcasts, working hard because I want to deliver more value to you, the people who really need that. But it’s not about not working hard for our clients.
It’s about, I don’t like to do for clients what they can do for themselves. We have some levels of our service with private clients where we’ll actually build out, and we have a team for this. We have a team that does this. I don’t have to do this anymore, but we have a team that will actually build out the curriculum that they’ve designed onto their training portal. They’ll actually build in the toll gates, the check-ins, all of those forms, all of those automations. This is a great area where we can have our team help. That’s not what I mean about doing things for them that they can do for themselves, because that’s not something that’s not a growth thing.
No, we don’t do that forever. We help train them so that our clients are – what happens most of the time, you know, a team member of our clients, an admin, somebody can then see everything so that they can manage that on an ongoing basis. And that’s really what I mean. I mean, I don’t like doing things for clients that make it harder for them to do the right things for themselves. That’s the important part. That’s the part that I hate, when we steal that away from our clients. And this is a great example of that. It’s not your job to make things aligned for your clients. It’s your job to teach them. It’s your job to create an environment where it’s safe for them to grow up in this area that they want to grow up in.
And it’s your job to shine the light down the pathway. This is kind of like teaching them, but I’ll expound on that. Shine the light down the pathway towards the result that you sold them into, towards what they want to know. I didn’t say carry them across the finish line. I didn’t say make a ton of exceptions for them. We have an episode coming up on exceptions, by the way. I just said shine the light down the pathway. Show them what that looks like. Because that’s what light is really good for. To help us see what things look like. So when someone says, “That’s just not in alignment for me, that doesn’t feel in alignment for me”, we have the opportunity to say, “What would feel in alignment to you?” And this is where things get interesting, because this is where a client could say, “Well, what I’m doing now.”
Right? Or maybe it’s not what they’re doing now. Maybe they can self-identify that. That’s a great follow-up question. “Is what you’re doing now in alignment for you?” Usually not, because that’s why they wanted your help, right? So, “What would this look like if it were aligned for you?” Because there are two different things, and I talked about hard work. I’m going to circle back to that in a second. But there are two different things that are at play. You can change the work, you can change the activity or you can change how you feel. Anyone who’s ever come home frustrated to a boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife, significant other knows that you can come home frustrated, but you can know for the sake of your relationship that you’re going to change how you feel, that you’re going to change how you’re showing up.
And usually changing how you show up actually changes how you feel inside. There’ve been all kinds of studies around just the act of smiling. It actually changes the chemical makeup of our brain. It actually shoots signals into our brain that tell it to produce more of the happy chemicals just by smiling just a little bit. It also burns more calories. Fun fact, I don’t think that’s going to meaningfully help anybody though, just smiling in the way that we’re talking here, but showing up in a different way. You can help them see that what’s in alignment for them is to show up a different way.
Sometimes it really is as simple as that. So the way that you would do that is just like anything else. I always would recommend the first question be, “What do you mean?” So that you let the client spill their guts more. My favorite question, I recently had a family member actually tell me, “You have this podcast, you do all these things. Could you give us some advice? Could you tell me how to handle this situation?” And we were talking about some things, and I said to them, “Well, the first thing I would do is I would ask the person, ‘What do you mean?’” And then they said, “Ah, yeah, I hate it when you do that to me.” Leave it to family to yuck your yum sometimes.
But I would always start with that. Let them spill their guts a little bit more so that they might even tell you what alignment means to them. Right? In Friday’s episode we talked about alignment and here’s why this is so important: Friday’s episode, we talked about identity, and here’s why that’s so important. Alignment, this doesn’t feel aligned, it goes right back to that identity conversation. Does it not feel aligned to your corrupt identity, to the corrupt interpretation of your identity? Is there an ego distortion field going on here that’s shifting the way that you’re seeing yourself and these actions? Or is this your true self, your best self? Is this that self that it doesn’t feel aligned with? And then there are the second-order questions: “Does it not feel aligned because you don’t really understand what it looks like?”
“Does it not feel aligned because it’s something that we’re asking you? We, as the service provider or consultant, coach, asking you to try something and see what happens because it’s a test?” I often think of myself, especially in the systems engineering side, I think of myself as a scientist, and I was thinking about this the other day. As a scientist, I’m always looking to disprove my assumptions. So I have assumptions about things and sometimes I’ll try something knowing that I’m going to get – or hoping or thinking – because my assumption is that I’m going to get a negative result, that it’s not going to work, but I have to try the things that don’t work so that I can get to the things that do. And sometimes that’s what we ask our clients to do in our programs. One of the first steps that we go through with our private clients is that we help them run some surveys to get some information.
This takes some art by the way. Oftentimes we’re writing them for the clients, but sending something out to their clients to find out what’s really going on. This is important if you want to improve client success, this is equally important if you want to create some predictability so that it’s just easier to scale. You need to find out what clients really want, what’s going on, and that’s oftentimes not something that you can just come out and ask, or at least it’s not in a way that you can see the trend of that. You can’t see the forest through the trees sometimes when you’re working with the clients directly. And I’ve had clients who get all kinds of concerned when I say, “You might be concerned right now” as I’m describing that to actually ask your clients what they think, how they’re feeling.
All of these questions can be deeply concerning. Because it’s these things that sometimes we don’t want to know. Sometimes we don’t want to know what our clients are thinking. Tom’s gonna want to know what our clients are saying about us behind our back. Sometimes ignorance is bliss, and don’t pop that bubble. But is that their distorted identity or is that their higher identity that’s saying that? Because my highest identity isn’t scared of information. My highest identity isn’t scared of what someone thinks or what someone says. Because I also know, or my highest self knows, that it’s not my job to manage or control, that it’s my job to keep showing up, keep delivering value. That it’s how you handle someone who says, “This just isn’t in alignment. This doesn’t feel like it’s in alignment for me.” But I hope this was helpful. This has been What to Say Wednesday. I will see you again on Friday. Have a great rest of your week. Bye!