As trusted advisors, we work very hard at doing the best work we can possibly do for our clients. As the relationship progresses, we learn about our client’s needs, wants, desires, habits, beliefs and behaviors.
Eventually we know whether the client will be successful in their endeavors or if they will fail no matter what we do. Imagine being a doctor and not delivering the bad news to your patient! Do you think the relationship will be better if you spare the prognosis? Is this fair to our clients?
I like to tell the following story - “Thank goodness I am like the cardiologist and not the oncologist. Most or many of the oncologist’s patients don’t make it long-term. For the cardiologist, most patients do make it. The oncologist says that you have X time left. It is very sad. The cardiologist says, I am not worried about you right now, but, if the current behavior continues, I am very worried about you in 15-20 years. You need to exercise, eat right, drink less, lose some weight and drop some of these dangerous behaviors. If you do, you should be fine.”
Clients need to hear the bad news. They get it and more often than not, if you are the trusted advisor, they will alter their behavior. Why? Because they want to succeed! That is why they hired you in the first place.
Guide – Clients want to hear the bad news along with the good. This allows them the opportunity to take corrective action.
Action Item – Tell them the story of the cardiologist and the oncologist. Share the potentially bad news. Be the trusted advisor.