I’ve got a question here from Ben who says, “One week I get a testimonial and the next week they want to leave. When starting out, made a rookie mistake. We didn’t have a commitment length/tie in policy (I’ve now changed that). Do I let them go or try to save? I feel like they’re not telling the truth. They’ve had their result, and then here, want to quit. What should we do?”
Okay. Let’s talk about some fixes right here. I want to talk to you about two doors and a conversation.
The Exit Door
So, first things first. If there’s no contract, you can’t force someone to leave. But I think the one rule you should make is that you can leave, but you’re the door.
My clients can’t leave by e-mail, but if they want to leave, they got to come through me. And I don’t mean that in a rude or aggressive way, but I’m the exit door.
What that means is totally cool for you to wrap up, no worries, but what I would love to do is to have a quick feedback call with you so that I can learn what I need to learn and make this better for others in the future.
They can leave, but they need to come through you and talk them through that way.
The One-Way Door
I’ll talk to you about what to do in that conversation in a second, but before I do, I want to tell you about the other door which is the one-way door.
The other door is this, if they do leave, I think people are either in for life or they’re out. And there’s no leaving and coming back.
And so, your people need to know this for you like our people know this for us, there’s no ‘I’m leaving but I’ll come back later.’
No, dude. If you’re out, you’re out. And we’re not doing this ever again. I think that’s just fair to you, and it’s fair to them. And it’s really, really clear.
You’re in this thing for life, and if you leave, you’re out for life and there’s no coming back. I think you guys need to know this ‘I’ll come back later’ thing is just a softener that people say to make you feel okay about them leaving and justify it in their head as well.
If they’re out, they’re out. They’re not coming back. Let’s call it what it is. And let’s just make it a rule that the door is a one-way door and there are no returns. Is that cool?
The Actual Conversation
The third piece is how to have the actual conversation. This is really important. This is how it starts:
“Dude, thanks so much for reaching out. I totally got your message loud and clear. There are probably three things for us to talk about. Number one, I’d love to get some feedback from you about what went wrong so I can learn and do a better job in the future for others. Number two, obviously, there’s you and me — us working together. And number three, there’s you and your business. This is the last time we talk, I’d love to leave in a way that sets you up so you’re really clear about where to go from here and what to do next.”
“You and me”
Obviously, there’s you and me, and canceling and all of that stuff — “Super happy to talk about that. I’d love to get some feedback first about what went wrong for you in terms of us so I can apologize and put it right for our future. Then let’s talk about you and your situation.”
We’re not going to do the cancellation piece first, we’re going to do that at the end once we’ve got some context. Because if there are some specific things which have happened that they didn’t like or not happened that they would have liked to have happened, then let’s deal with that upfront.
“You and your business”
Let’s take the sting out, then let’s talk about them and their business because I bet if you learn about them and their situation, there’s a ton of stuff that you can do to add value.
Right? And if there is, let’s add that value so they know at least what they need to work on or what you would work on with them in the next 90 days. Because once you’ve got some stuff to apologize for and make better, and in terms of the way you deliver the program and some stuff to work on, now there’s a context for working together or at least discussing your working relationship.
And so, now, you can say, “Dude, it’s been really, really helpful. Given what you’ve told me, I guess we’ve got a couple of options. Number one, we could totally cancel and walk away like you said. Or number two, it sounds like if we worked on this, and that, and the other thing, and we change the way we work together to have a bit more of this and a bit less of that, and a bit more of this, then it might be worth continuing to work together at least for the next 90 days, we’ll work on these projects. What do you think?”
Which gives you an opportunity to:
- make the program better;
- make it better for them specifically; and
- keep the client
Let’s just summarize three things here. Hopefully, it’s clear-ish.
It’s totally cool for us to wrap up. But the way we’re going to wrap up is through a conversation. So, it’s not just breaking up with somebody by text message. And the way we position that is, “I’d love a feedback call so we can learn what we can learn so I can make sure that we do an even better job for people in the future.”
Secondly, in your mind, you just need to be really clear with you and with them that if somebody leaves, they’re out for good and there’s no coming back. And they need to be clear about that as well as you are.
And thirdly, okay, when you get on the call, “Thanks so much. It sounds like there are 3 things for us to talk about. Obviously, there’s you and me and working together —or in this case, not working together. There’s getting some feedback so I can make sure that we can do a better job for people in the future. And then there’s the third thing, it’s you and your business. If this is the last time we ever talk, I want to make sure we leave on really good terms and I can add a bunch of values so that I know that the last conversation we ever had, we set you up for a really good whatever’s next. Does that sound cool?”
“Yes, that sounds great.”
“Okay. Let’s do this. Number one, I’d love to get some feedback from you. Number two, let’s talk about you and your business. And then lastly, let’s chat about us and our future or not future.”
I think if you do it like this, then not only will you learn great things for your business, you will also probably save half of the people who want to leave and not by tricking them but by frankly doing a better job of serving them and the others. Cool?
Hopefully this is useful. This is Taki, out.
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