All of your clients want something. 

All of your clients need something too. 

And all of your clients also fear something. 

They may talk about it, ignore it, or not even have thought about it yet. Still, they know that every decision they make involves some risk. 

What are the risks

Every decision carries risk. 

The decision to make a purchase. The decision not to make a purchase. The decision to do nothing at all. The decision to wait a little bit longer. The decision to jump right in without waiting. 

Know what the risks are for your client, to work in your customer’s context. 

What are the risks for them if they buy from you? 

Be honest and be realistic: think about the time it will require of them, the loss in funds, the displacement of resources, the opportunity for mistakes or misunderstandings. 

What are the risks for them if they do nothing at all?

Think about how else they might solve their problem, or how they will live with the problem if it is not solved. Consider if the decision would impact them more in the short term or the long term. Try to determine how long they can function and be productive without solving the problem at hand. 

What are the risks for them if something goes wrong?

Something can always go wrong. 

Make a list of what could go wrong at your end: a mistake, a missed deadline, a misunderstanding, a distraction, or anything caused by an external force. 

Then make the same list but from the client’s perspective: what if they make a mistake, miss a deadline, misunderstand something, get distracted, or are impacted by an external force. 

Make it easy

No, we’re not trying to cause a panic or upset your plans. 

We want to focus on the obstacles to get rid of them before they become a problem. The more you understand these fears upfront, the better you can mitigate against them and serve your client well. 


Did reading this post make you wonder about your own customers’ wants and fears?

Contact me to discuss a 3-part training program on customer context.