8 Scripts to Help You Speak Confidently in Business
The Kate Show | Episode 83
"Should I make it obvious on my website that I am a one-person business or will that discredit me?"
"How can I get clients to take me seriously when I only just graduated from design school?"
"How can I reference my past careers without harming the validity of my current home industry business?"
These are the questions I receive from entrepreneurs in the home industry. No matter how long or short you've been in the business world, you've likely experienced the insecurity that comes with starting something new. I get it. We like to anticipate how we will be received and, if possible, prevent any negative assumptions or judgement.
However, we are often far to judgmental on ourselves. What if I told you that being a one-person business was sometimes better than having a team of employees (Bigger teams, you have benefits, too, and there is nothing wrong with you.) What if you could speak about your skills confidently, even if you just graduated or recently changed careers? You get to control the first impression potential clients receive of you and your business, and you also get to help them determine whether to feel confident in your ability...or not. It's all in the wording.
While your actions must back up whatever you're claiming, don't make the mistake of downplaying or discrediting yourself through negative connotations. Today on The Kate Show, we're talking about confidence and marketing - the two things most female business owners lack - and what to say when you or a client are questioning your abilities. You'll want keep these scripts for future use.
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8 Scripts to Help You Speak Confidently in Business
Before we dive into the handy scripts that you can use in emails, website copy, and in person when confronting awkward issues in your business, we need to get a few things straight:
First, understand that a self confident person elicits confidence from other people. If you believe in your own value and ability, they will be more inclined to do so, as well. This concept goes back to the common saying, "You can teach people how to treat you."
Second, as women in business, we tend to teach our clients that we are self-critical (inviting their criticism), that we are operating from a scarcity mindset (encouraging them to ask for a discount or attempt to snag free advice), or that we don't quite view our business as a business (implying that they should view it as our hobby, too).
You can only image how damaging this is... Or maybe you don't even have to imagine. Maybe you're living this right now. Living with ideas of, "I'm not that good yet," or "I barely have enough work and will do anything to get a project," or, "My business? It's just this thing I do."
Just NOTHING. What you do is real, valuable, and marketable. If you don't believe that, your marketing will always fall flat. As long as your intention is to run an honorable business, serve clients at a high level, and deliver everything you promise - you have every reason to be confident. As you work through these mindset practices, you can also start using a few scripts (both written and verbal) to make sure you aren't coming across like an insecure Sally or doormat Debbie.
Mini Scripts for Writing Client Emails
1) How to tell clients you're a one woman show...
Instead of saying this: "I wear all the hats."
"I am currently the sole designer here at (business name) because I take the quality of my projects to heart. Personal interaction with clients is important to me since every bit of feedback helps improve my services. I also work with an extended team of subcontractors who share these values. Together, we look forward to serving you."
2) How to address clients who mention that you're a new designer or stager...
Instead of saying this: "I just graduated / started my business."
"I recently earned my (degree level) in (field of study), (OR I recently launched my business after) the culmination of many years of self-study and research into this field. With a creative mind untarnished by trends or false expectations, I'm strategically navigating this and I'm so glad we found each other. My goal is to win the trust of more potential clients like you. As it stands now, the next project opening I have on my calendar is (date range). Which of those days work for you?"
3) How to explain to clients that this is your second career...
Instead of saying this: "I used to be a ______ but then I realized design / staging / soft furnishings was my true calling."
"After rounding out a full chapter of life experience as a _________, I transitioned to being a designer / stager / workroom. This has allowed me to use the different facets of my various experiences in one consistent and beautiful way. My background in __________ has helped me bring ___________ to my projects and clients. When would you like to book our first onsite consultation?"
4) How to address your situation if you feel you are too young or too old and are being judged for it...
Instead of saying this: "I know I'm young but I learn quickly..."
Tricked you! You should never let yourself feel discriminated against for your age. Behave in a manner that befits the professional adult you are. You can't control whether people judge you or estimate your age. That's just rude on their part. Period.
5) How to address new potential clients If you've recently moved your business to a new service area....
Instead of saying this: "I left all my clients in (other state or province)."
"I recently expanded my service area to include (city name) and look forward to making the right connections as I continue to serve my clients at the highest level."
6) How to answer potential clients who want a discount.
Instead of saying this: "Okay..." (Yikes!) Or a flat "No way, Jose."
"My rates reflect how much my services will benefit you. While I don't offer discounts, I'd love to offer you a smaller service package that is more aligned with your budget. Would that interest you?"
7) How to respond to clients who say, "My project would be a great addition to your portfolio..." and give you that "I want a deal" facial expression.
Instead of saying this: "Well, I will have to think about it..."
"I don't take on a project unless it's something I can be proud of, with which means all my projects are proudly displayed in my portfolio. I'd be happy to include yours if we decide that we are a good fit. Now, let's schedule your initial (paid) consultation."
8) When a client says, "I don't like how you did this," after a long series of back-and-forth during which they continued to change their mind.
Instead of saying this: "I'm sorry. Let's try again."
"We have reached the end of the revisions covered in our current scope of work. If you would like to continue making revisions, I'm happy to do it. My hourly rate of _______ will apply, and I'll need you to tell me exactly what you would like me to do. I will then write up a document / amendment to our contract that you will sign upon completion to verify that you are happy with and fully accept the change. That will then conclude this phase of the project."
....When it comes to addressing all of these concerns and using these scripts, remember, you actually don't need to explain yourself. Ever.