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Listen Up! Why Your Clients are Stressed (and Why You Should Care)


First of all, I’m going to make a broad assumption that most people watching this are professionals and the kinds of people you deal with are other professionals. They are likely highly educated c-suite individuals, maybe CFOs or the head of a specific unit within their organization. All of these people are in the most stressed category you can find. And that is highly educated, white-collar workers.

There are twin dilemmas that they have.

Work Stress

First of all they are number one in terms of the highest work stress. That may not be intuitive. You may not think about that. After all white-collar jobs are supposed to be good. But there’s a lot of pressure on people in those environments to do more with less. We’ve all heard that. And we don’t know people who have time on their hands who don’t have a lot of work to do if they are active in the work environment.

Time Pressure

The second big reason is that they are number one in terms of time pressure. So you’ve got two things, the feeling of time pressure. I don’t have enough time to accomplish everything. And secondly, they are under a lot of stress, a lot of pressure. If your clients are like that, what does that mean for you? And what does that mean for your marketing, besides being sympathetic to them?

Recognize Time Pressure in Communication

First of all you need to recognize that time pressure is important to your clients and you need to recognize that in your communication. Don’t do a lot of communication to ask for a lot of time when you’re not giving value to it. Don’t just add to their time pressure. You aren’t going to get a good response to that.

Only Meet to Add Value

The second thing is that whenever you do meet, whenever you do request your client’s time, make sure you are adding value. Calling up to say hi or to ask if they have any work for you, that’s not adding value to the timed pressured individual. Instead of asking for something, give them something, like tips, a latest piece of research, something new you’ve shared, a solution to a problem they have. In other words give them some value so it was worth it for them to spend their precious time with you.

Pleasant Persistence Pays

The third is something I call pleasant persistence. It really pays off. I’ll give you an example. I get a lot of emails from people soliciting and wanting to work with us. There are so many that I can’t respond. It’s impossible to reply to each one. But those people who are pleasant and persistent and offer something of value and explain in their emails are much more likely to get my response.

Don’t get flustered if someone doesn’t respond, just recognize that they are under a lot of time pressure and a lot of stress. Be part of the solution rather than making the problem worse.

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