When Your Intake Systems Assume The Worst About Your Clients And Buyers

I was asking around for referrals to a specialty social media VA for a client and got a suggestion to contact “Bonnie”.

While I was unimpressed by her site, she came so highly recommended I figured I’d at least drop her a note.

She quickly wrote back, explaining her approach: that she’d develop a social media strategy, lay out the details and then find someone to implement.

And she closed with this: “I don’t work for $25 an hour…so be sure your client is ready to pay my premium price.”

Alrighty then.

Let’s break that down.

First: she assumed he didn’t already have a strategy.

Second: she assumed he didn’t want her to implement (which is usually why you hire a VA).

Third: she assumed we were looking for the cheapest option.

In short, she assumed the worst. On every single point of our interaction.

And just to keep it interesting, before I responded to the first missive, she sent me a second suggesting that if this wasn’t how my client liked to work, we should stop the “discussion” now because they wouldn’t be a fit.

Obviously there is a big neon sign over her head saying “turn around and run like hell”, and yet our interaction was so comically extreme that it got me thinking.

What happens when any of our intake systems are broken—warped by even just one bad experience?

When that off-kilter thinking starts seeping into how we experience new potential clients and vice versa?

We start turning away the very people we most want to attract.

In Bonnie’s case, I applaud that she wanted to target high-end clients.

But no high-end pros I know respond well to “I don’t work for $25 an hour”. It’s aggressive, focuses on her rate vs. their outcomes and just comes across as surly.

Not exactly the attitude you want in someone you have to trust with all your passwords.

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