As a service provider, you have 2 options when it comes to giving the professional advice, which your clients pay you for:
- Tell the client what they want to hear.
- Tell the client what they need to hear.
When we tell the client what they want to hear, we do them and ourselves a massive disservice. It may make them feel good momentarily, to be told that their widget is a world beater, but if they hire you for your expertise and you believe their widget is junk, they need to hear it. Tell them professionally and support your feedback with facts, but tell them.
When we tell the client what they need to hear, we are embracing one of the cornerstones of professionalism; the courage and confidence to communicate what we believe in. This approach has longevity built into it, because it’s the only way to deliver your true value. So-called “yes men” and “yes women” have little market value.
As a business owner, when you elect to take the tougher, long term decisions over the easy, short term decisions, you earn the respect and trust of your clients.
Every leader in every field knows this to be true.