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How To Create Clear Client Boundaries For Better Results - by Heather Dominick

I love to help my clients and I'm blessed they recognize the energy I invest in to providing a high-value service. As an EnergyRICH Entrepreneur I sense you probably hear the same a lot, too, yes?

It's important to offer this type of service (especially because it can be hard to find these days) AND it's also important to not confuse high-value service with lack of boundaries. You'll know exactly the moment this pops up. A client expects something that is not included in their program and doesn't seem to have any awareness that this is the case. You'll also FEEL it the moment this pops up. Perhaps it'll show itself to you in the form of a sinking feeling in your stomach, a touch of anger in your throat or just overall irritation. The most important thing is to be prepared to deal with it with what I can "Gracious Strength."

This is an EnergyRICH® Entrepreneur Muscle that you must constantly strengthen. No one else can do it but you. And you most likely will get the opportunity to strengthen it. I like to refer to these moments as "the Universe handing you the next steps to your business." So when a client tries to push your business boundaries think of it as a gift. It's an opportunity for growth. For you AND for them. It's a call to love yourself AND your client.

Here's an example of what I mean: Janet is a Professional Organizer. She has a steady business, but would like to see more growth. Her clients love her. She has one client, Lori, who is consistently rescheduling, is often on the phone when Janet arrives for their organizing sessions and pushes their ending time with "just one more question."

Janet wants to help Lori and it isn't like these bits are so outright awful, but to ignore them is an activation of disrespectful energy and the ripple effect of that lack of respect will be felt continuously in Janet's relationship with Lori, Janet's relationships with her other clients AND for Lori and her other relationships (perhaps there is also a connection there with her disorganization?) So this is a lose-lose situation. No one is getting the results they need or deserve. It affects Janet's ability to attract her ideal client, have a powerful Prospects to Profits Process™, or have a strong referral system in place. It affects Lori's ability to really make a shift in her relationship with organizing her stuff.

So what do you do?

Here are 3 straight-to-the-point tips for handling boundary-pushing clients with "Gracious Strength":

Tip #1: Communicate Your Expectations Clearly

First, you have to be willing to take a stand for you and your business. Next, you have to be honest with yourself, if you don't communicate to your clients what you expect of them how can they know? You must be crystal clear about your policies and procedures and the boundaries you have in place to support them. And the minute they are crossed, to be direct and honest about the situation. I have found this is the best way to create a positive outcome. What that looks like or sounds like will vary depending on your situation, but it doesn't include dancing around the bush or being vague in any way.

In Janet's situation, she can tell her client, Lori, that she needs her to be prepared for their organizing sessions by doing x, y and z before Janet gets there (including ending all phone calls at least 5 minutes before). The truth is clients WANT you to hold the space for their greatness to be activated. That's why they hired you! You accomplish this by clearly stating what you need in order for the work to take place. Your clients can then choose whether they are willing to participate at the level you expect. I know when I work with a coach, healer or helper of any kind this is what I'm paying for. I haven't hired someone to allow me to be what I've always been, thank you very much.

Which leads me to tip #2...

Tip#2: Call It Out Right Away

When I worked with teenagers as a high school drama teacher I learned pretty early on that teens had a keen, collective sense of when a teacher had a "leadership crack". That one moment could turn a classroom into chaos. The thing is adults aren't any different they just push the crack in a less obvious way. But we're all intuitive beings - even when it works against us - if we sense we can get away with something (especially if it's a habit that hasn't served us well) we'll push when we see an opening.

So I've learned to be clear and to the point at all times, not just sometimes and to have my antennas up. I have a tendency to see immediately when a client is using excuses, avoiding, resisting or over-thinking a recommendation. This usually means that the client doesn't want to move forward on a certain aspect of our work for whatever reason, and in most cases, that the client will eventually not see the results they signed up to get from our work together. I ask the client right from the beginning of our coaching journey if I have permission to gently call them on this when I see it and then, if I have to, I do.

Client relationships can take on a snowball effect. Once they start to go downhill, they seem to pick up speed and turn into avalanches. Stopping it sooner, rather than later is the key.

Tip #3: If Needed, Let the Client Go

This is a tough one for most entrepreneurs. But I will tell you that your willingness to release a non-ideal client (and I'm guessing anyone who is a major boundary pusher is not ideal) has such a positive energetic impact on your business. When you release the need to keep the client (or the need to "take it all on for them") you free yourself from drained, dragged down energy taken up by someone who is not ready to truly partner with you in creating dynamic results. To hang on to the client is actually a disservice to you both. To release the client is an act of integrity and love: for yourself, your service and the client.

And the minute you do, the door opens for an ideal client to come in. Every time. Or the faster that current client will shape up! Remember, they came to you because they want results and your willingness to release them is counter to this desire.

Your EnergyRICH® Call To Action:

Check in: Have you clearly communicated your policies and procedures? Do your materials need to be updated to reflect these? You can double check this for yourself by writing out a list of what you expect from clients. (You may realize you've been letting clients get away with behavior you don't really find acceptable!)

Activate love: For yourself and your clients. Let that love show by taking a stand for yourself and the service you provide. This energy will create a magnet - a powerful attractor factor - for your ideal client and many great opportunities in your life and business!

Heather Dominick is the creator of the EnergyRICH Success System®, the essence of her years of education, marketing training, and sales tools. Heather uses this proven step-by-step system to coach entrepreneurs by creating an energetic map to harness their energy once and for all. Her coaching philosophy is that an individual cannot “do” business, but needs to BE business at a holistic level that integrates thoughts, feelings, words, and actions. She calls this managing your energy. It's important that an entrepreneur do the inner and outer work necessary to activate this skill and belief in them. Only when you have activated this in you, can you fully and confidently present yourself and your business to others. That is what is at the heart of assisting individuals in making any outer changes in their businesses.

Heather's strengths include helping clients to articulate their businesses and life visions, and develop strategic execution plans to achieve these goals. Her primary focus is in helping entrepreneurs identify sources for increasing the productivity and profit of their businesses. She is an insightful accountability partner who helps her clients stay focused and motivated while growing, changing, and enhancing their businesses, successes, and lives.

Visit her online at http://www.energyrichcoach.com

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