186. What to do when clients don't take your advice

What to do when clients
don't take your advice.

This is, uh, an interesting
topic that I saw on Twitter.

Uh, Frank McClung, who's
a website strategist.

Kind of posited this.

This, this thought that, that I thought
was worth kind of riffing on a little bit.

Yeah, he says, I wonder
what goes on in our mind.

That we would ask a seasoned expert
for their advice about an issue and

then disregard it to follow our own.

And I think this is a pretty
common, potentially a common

situation either for you.

As the person asking for advice
or as the person giving advice.

And I think the thing to unpack in
this situation is, is a few things,

you know, obviously if they're asking
you for advice, they trust you to

some degree and we'll assume that,
that you are an expert in it and that.

That, that your clients do
trust you to some degree.

And obviously the people are
still, they still know they're

responsible for their own outcomes.

So they're still going to kind of
decide for themselves whether they're

going to take your advice or not.

So, how do you make
your advice more likely?

Uh, to be the right advice.

And how do you make.

People more likely to take your advice.

So outside of obviously.

Being more credible and doing better work.

I'm going to assume that you're
already credible and doing great work.

One of the things that I've noticed is
that when giving advice, I'll start from

that perspective, it's easy to just sort
of throw out ideas and to say, okay,

here's what maybe you could do or here's
what you here's, what, what I might do.

Whereas I think we, what we need to do
as advisors is to pause is to ask our

ourselves is to ask our clients, what,
what are you thinking about doing already?

What have you tried?

And what are you thinking?

What are the top one or two or three
options that you have to help you get

to this outcome that you're trying to
go for and assume you have to really

get clear on their goals up front.

So if you, if you're not clear
on the goals, start with that.

Then ask them.

What are the, what are
they considering doing?

What are they thinking about trying?

And then at least you
can discuss those things.

You can ask some follow-up
questions about why those ideas.

Are important or why you're
landing on those ideas?


You think they may be the best choice?

Uh, you know, you could say.

Of the three, which do you think is
the right choice for you and why?

So by asking more questions
and at least starting with the.

Starting with the information that
you're being given is, you know,

trusting the person who's asking you
for advice to have more contextual

knowledge about their situation.

Maybe they don't have all the knowledge
that you do in terms of the life

experience and the pattern matching.


And everything else, according
to your area of expertise.

So that's that's aside, but what you
want to do is collect all that very

contextual information and, and, and
judgment and say, you know, ultimately,

what is, what is your, what, what are
you feeling is the best option for you?

Because sometimes our intuition
is also very powerful.

So sometimes they may not
even be able to articulate.

Why they think one option is the
best and that's where you want to

really probe and ask questions.

I am a big believer that
your intuition is important.

And they, you should listen to it.

And if you're not satisfied with
the advice you're being given.

That you should ask additional
questions or provide additional context.

So if you're giving, if you're
asking for advice, you want to say,

here's what I'm thinking about doing.

And here's base based on my goals, why I
think these are important or here's what

my, what my road mental roadblock is.

And if you're asking for, if you're
giving advice, rather than just

giving it out, you want to ask
them those same kinds of questions.

What are your goals?

What do you think is right?

What's your, what's your,
what's your gut telling you?

What's your, you know,
what's your intuition saying?

And then you can at least talk
through it, then you can say, okay.

Based on your goals and
based on your intuition.

And based on the reason
for all these things.

Here's what I would
recommend you consider.

Here's what I recommend you do.

And then you can sort of break
out some ideas and options.

And then turn that around as
a sounding board for them.

And so now it's their job to say,
okay, this is what resonates with this.

Makes sense because at the end of
the day, a lot of times when people

are coming to you for advice, In many
cases, not all, sometimes, sometimes

you just have no idea what to do, and
sometimes you have these intuitions,

but sometimes you're looking for someone
to basically give you permission to.

To do the thing that
you already want to do.

And maybe it feels risky or maybe if.

Maybe it feels like it may not work
and you're in a way you're kind of

looking for someone else to sort of.

Alleviate that pressure.

I'm going to do this thing.

It's probably the wrong decision, but I
just want someone to give me permission

to do it so I can go ahead and do it.

And so the real question you have to ask
yourself when you're asking advice, is

am I looking for confirmation of the idea
that I already have, in which case at

least just be transparent about here's
the idea that I think I have and here.

You know, it might be scary to have
you poke holes in it, but let's,

let's just go through this exercise.

And if you're giving advice, at least
you can come from a place where you would

know what their, what their knowledge is
because that's the, the, the front lines.

You know, knowledge on the situation.

And then you can have a little bit more
of an informed, contextual situation

about the advice rather than giving you
general, rather than giving out general

advice, you can help them basically
match the specifics of their situation.

Through asking questions through
probing, through checking on things.

And so you may have a solution
that jumps to mind, but then

exploring their solution.

First through that lens.

It gives you an advantage
of very local knowledge.

As well as your own more experienced
pattern matching that you can do

as, as the expert on the situation.

So I think that's the, that's
the, uh, The kind of the gist

of what I wanted to get across.

If clients are taking your
advice, it might be that you're

not asking them enough questions.

It might be that you're not asking
them what they think they should do.

The top one, two or three things that
they, that they think they should do.

And then following up
with additional questions.

It might be that you don't fully
understand their goals because

what's right in one situation will
be very different than what's right.

In another situation, based on the
goal horizons, based on how long.

People have to achieve the goals and
what the specifics of their goals

actually are and why they matter to them.

So that context really matters.

And that's why it's really hard to give
advice on sort of one-off calls or.

You know, in a bite-sized format.

The sum.



All of this wrap up is.

If you're not, if someone
isn't taking your advice.

And assuming you're credible
and you have expertise.

First of all.

I never convince anyone to take my advice.

It's here's, here's my thinking.

Here's the reasoning.


And here's where, where my head is
that when, why you should do, based

on all the things I know about you.

But I never try to convince or enforce it.

But if they're going to go another
direction, I do want to understand

why and what is it about their, their
goals and, and the, the tactics.

'cause sometimes it's.

And they're misdiagnosing the problem.

Sometimes they are.

Uh, sometimes they are not
thinking about all the things that.

You know, That could go wrong.

Sometimes it's a comfort zone issue.

And if that's the case, then you
want to at least help them either

break through that comfort zone
and get them to the thing that's

actually going to get them a result.

But sometimes their ideas are just great.

And so, you know, that's why you want to
know that because general advice is not

the same as specific contextual advice.


If you're asking for advice, I would say.

Give them what you're thinking
are the best options for you.

And if you're the one receiving advice
or the one giving advice rather.

Um, asking those questions
around goals and around.

Um, what they believe is
the best fit for them.

We'll help you not only create
the best possible results.

But also you'll get more buy-in
because the person will have felt

like they've been properly seen
and heard around their ideas.

Before you've given them advice,
especially when the advice

doesn't fit neatly with what
they're expecting or wanting.

Because again, some of us are
just looking for permission to

do what we already want to do.

But sometimes we need to be
saved from ourselves as well.

So it's good to know how much
of their thinking is, is good.

And how much of it is feeling comfortable.

I need to feel comfortable
and safe based on maybe old

thinking or incomplete thinking.

And that's the tricky
part of giving advice.

So whether you're asking, you're giving.

I hope these tips are helpful for you.

And uh we'll leave it there bye for now

186. What to do when clients don't take your advice
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