by guest author Andrea J. Lee
I know, it’s pretty presumptuous to claim I’m your ideal client, when you likely don’t even know me, but allow me to earn that title, if I may.
Here are 4 reasons why I think it’s true:
- I’m a veteran entrepreneur. I’ve been in business for nearly 12 years and am servicing several growing markets. >> This means I’m a stable client, not about to go under or freak out at the newness of running a business.
- My business is in the financial sweet spot. Businesses earning less than six figures can struggle to hire or keep management. >> This means I can more than afford you and the staff you’ll manage.
- I’m very educated about the benefits of incentive-based compensation. I’m eager to give you the opportunity to earn more than an hourly rate. >> This means you have no arm-twisting to do when it comes to sharing the spoils when things go well.
- I have a good sense of humor and actually am not an egomaniac. Despite what this sounds like so far. >> This should mean I don’t take myself too seriously, and may be fun and inspiring to work with, at least most of the time.
In less than 2 weeks, the first-ever Online Business Manager Certification Training will begin in intensive, 3-Day format. Tina has asked me to assist in delivering the program, and lead certain segments of it from the client perspective.
In particular there’s one segment I insisted be included – it’s called ‘Putting Yourself in the Shoes of The Client: Closing Prospective Clients as an Online Business Manager.’
You know, that’s the topic about how to actually have the conversation with prospects and closing the sale? How to consistently and reliably get hired to be an OBM. A pretty critical piece in all of this.
As I prepare the material, I realize there are some essentials that everyone in Tina’s community should know, so I’m breaking it out of the training materials to have printed here.
But first, why should you listen to me, in addition to the above?
As a business coach going into my 7th year, you and I have something pretty big in common. I help business owners grow from six figures to seven. They work with me to build their teams, increase their income, not work themselves into the ground.
At a certain point in my work with them, it’s inevitable, like day follows night, they will ask me to help them find/hire/retain/promote/compensate an Online Business Manager. Sometimes, I even get asked to help FIRE and REPLACE an OBM.
So from that perspective, I’d like to share with you 5 Simple Ways to Succeed as an Online Business Manager, from the perspective of your ideal client.
Simple Way #1: Take things away from me.
If you’re a mom, there’s a simple way to think about this. It’s just like confiscating something from your child.
Here’s some sample actual verbiage you can use to cause your client to melt in happiness and thank the heavens for you:
“Let’s make Andrea’s life easier and do XYZ.”
“Why don’t we leave Andrea out of that process; she has enough on her plate.”
“I can totally take that on, leave it with me, I got your back”
“I have room for more work.”
Simple Way #2: Present problems or obstacles only with accompanying solutions.
Again, sticking close to home for clarity on these deceptively simple, but not necessarily easy techniques…
Think of a salt and pepper shaker. You rarely see one without the other because they’re a matched set. As an Online Business Manager, think of problems and their solutions and inviolably attached. Always together.
What not to do or say:
“Andrea, I’m stuck on this.”
Depending on how much external pressure your client is feeling, saying something like this (and only this) is the equivalent of boiling the skin on your client. Instant boils.
“Andrea, my head isn’t clear on this right now but I’m going to take a break and come back with fresh ideas, and consult with my support community. I’ll get right back to you.”
Hear me melting again? Mhmm, oh yeah.
Simple Way #3: Know that it’s almost always about money.
When your client does something you don’t understand, ask yourself why pressure around money might be causing this behavior.
Did they just tell you to stop working on a project? Maybe they took some work back. Did they nitpick some work of yours in an unusual way? Probably they’re hoping they can make it even more effective and bring in more revenue.
One of my favorite sayings as a business coach is “Money solves a lot of problems.”
Knowing this, your job is to then find ways to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with me and look at the money situation, see opportunities to increase income or decrease expenses.
More actual verbiage to use (yes, today, if needed!):
“Someone just called wanting to buy X from us. Would you like to handle this personally?”
“You know that ‘do later’ task of compiling a list of potential joint venture partners? I did it today.”
Simple Way #4: Don’t explain or require me to explain.
As someone who’s had an OBM on my team for years, I like to explain why I do things the way I do them, sometimes. But not every time. Sometimes I just want them done, and I want my OBM to be savvy enough to connect the dots, or, not need them connected.
Even more important, most of the time, I don’t care why something didn’t get done, or got done in a certain way. You as OBM are my ‘extra hard drive’ ‘project management brain’ and essential thinking partner in my business. If I have to explain, or be engaged in your explanations all the time, we lose all that extra brain capacity.
This one is simple and doesn’t require verbiage. Just do it.
Simple Way #5: Make me look better than I can make myself look.
Thomas Leonard said it this way “Add value for the joy of it.”
By taking what I create, and improving it so that it improved, without my having to do it, you give me such lift off and energy that I’ll be dancing at the joy of having you on my team.
When I write a newsletter, have it proofed for me. Add links.
If I’m doing a speaking gig, make my order forms look extra professional.
When I’m meeting a client for an important, high-ticket meeting, ensure I’m extra prepared, and help me follow up, for that very juicy next sale.
If becoming a well-paid Online Business Manager is in your future…
If trading time for dollars as a Virtual Assistant is getting old…
Or if you’re a professional looking for an up and coming, mobile, lucrative and highly inspiring career…
I can think of no better decision than to become an Online Business Manager, and it starts with the simple things above.
For more tools, skills and actual verbiage on turning ‘maybe’ into ‘yes, I want to hire you as my OBM’ be sure NOT to miss registration for the Certification Training program which starts in less than 2 weeks. It’s the only one of its kind on the planet and business owners around the world look first to graduates of Tina’s program.
Either way, I hope you take this article as a challenge to make your clients’ hearts sing, today.
Comments, thoughts? Post them here at the blog.
Andrea J. Lee is an Entrepreneurial Futurist with her finger on the pulse of the entrepreneurial spirit and how it shows up in organizations and life. Throughout her life, Andrea has done one thing – help those she loves make m’oney. Not once, but twice, she has helped reinvent the coa’ching industry and knows just one thing for sure: the entrepreneurial spirit is everywhere, looking for a place to make a difference. She is the trusted source of coa’ching pioneer Thomas Leonard’s intellectual property, the architect behind the Pink Spoon Marketing craze, and her company was named by Seth Godin and Fast Company Magazine as one of the extraordinary ‘Bull Market’ companies helping their clients stand out and prosper.
Andrea invites you to enjoy her views of the entrepreneurial landscape, and 5 of the most popular chapters from her acclaimed book on thought leadership: ‘M’oney, Meaning and Beyond: 27 Unexpected Ways To Create What Really Matters.’ at www.AndreaJLee.com