It was – for lack of a better description – a caricature-istic (yes, I’ve been known to invent words) look at how not only demanding customers and clients can be, but how their expectations of the relationship between value and compensation can be extremely unrealistic.
Basically, they were expecting a real LOT for a very LITTLE.
Now, as you know from reading The Go-Giver, the provider of the product or service should strive to “give more in value than he or she takes in payment.” This simply means that what you provide causes that person to legitimately feel great about exchanging their money for it, while you still make a healthy profit and feel great about the transaction, as well.
The video provides a facetious example of just how much more in value the exceedingly demanding customer might expect (It really was funny. My favorite line was the “line item” suggestion in the restaurant scene.)
I also believe it teaches us many lessons on many levels, and – if I may – I’d like to bring up just a few right here.
Lesson #1 Set The Context of Expectation in Advance: Because some people are simply the type who press for the most in exchange for the least, it’s important that they know exactly what you will and will not do (i.e., let them get away with). Hey, perhaps it’s too bad it need be that way but, since it is, the best thing you can do is to acknowledge it and be proactive about it.
Lesson #2 Work Only With Those You Enjoy Working With: Obviously that is easier said than done, good economy or bad. However, that’s one reason your focus should be on developing a referral-based business. The stronger the referral from someone you enjoy doing business with, the greater the odds those to whom they refer will be just as enjoyable (the saying about “birds of a feather” is often very true).
By the way, the converse is also true in that if you lose your posture and work “on the cheap” or in such a way that you allow yourself to be taken advantage of based on the promise of more work or referrals to their friends, you will most likely be inundated with others who undervalue you, as well (the “birds of a feather” concept runs both ways).
Lesson #3 Know in Advance How You Will Respond When A Customer Does Try And Push The Envelope Past Its Reasonable Limits: While it won’t be as egregious as those in the video 🙂 it will most likely happen. Rather than have to “react” to this, it will be much more productive for you to imagine possible scenarios in advance and how you will respond to them when they occur.
While sometimes you need to be willing to fire a customer or client, typically, if you’ve taken the proper steps in advance, that will not happen too, too often.
Providing excellent value does NOT mean being taken advantage of or settling for less than you have earned and communicated.
As Stephen R. Covey says, “Win-Win or no deal.”