You’ve likely heard the phrase, “The customer is always right!” But guess what? That’s, um… NOT true.

The customer is not always right. (And actually, s/he’s often WRONG.)

Here’s an important distinction to make: YOU are the expert – not your client or customer. That’s why you have a job! That’s why people hire you.

If people knew how to do the thing you know how to do, they wouldn’t spend money for your product/service/coaching. Which means, it’s your J.O.B. to own what you do + how you do it.

In this episode, I’m explaining our company belief that “the customer is NOT always right” + how this plays out in our day-to-day interactions with clients.

Here’s a few highlights we’ll cover…

  • Why bending to client requests actually kills your delivery
  • How I’m training my team to “push back” against clients
  • And what your self-confidence has to do with, well, everything

Tune into this episode for some quick behind-the-scenes business advice, and then head over to Instagram (@emilyhirsh) to let me know your opinion! What’s been your experience in business – or maybe as a client or customer?

(P.S. Thank you to Dr. Angela Lauria of Author Incubator for inspiring this episode!)

Key Points:
[2:24] You’re the expert! That’s why people hire you.
[3:08] Which means, accommodating client requests can be detrimental to your success (+ theirs)
[7:09] So Step 1: You have to be confident in your own process
[10:42] Here’s how this plays out when I’m the coaching client…
[13:37] This is what builds trust with your clients + customers

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Episode Transcripts:  

Emily Hirsh: I’m Emily Hirsh, and this is The Hirsh Marketing Underground Podcast. Attention, innovators, influencers, creators, and game changing entrepreneurs: your internet domination begins right here. We are the powerhouse marketers that you’ve been looking for. You’re already making waves in your industry, and we’re here to help amplify those waves of change by creating a connection that cuts through the noise. We take everything you’ve built inside your zone of genius and find its audience.

With killer strategy and laser eye for impact, we launch multimillion dollar campaigns and skyrocket your reach online. And now, we are doing the unheard of. We’re unveiling everything we’ve learned, taking you behind the scenes with the Hirsh Marketing Team, and giving away the secrets to our clients’ success. Stay tuned for top converting strategy, ROI reports, and insider knowledge that you won’t find anywhere else. You’re changing the world, and we’re the team to help.

Hello everybody. Welcome back to the podcast. Welcome if you are new. Thanks so much for tuning in. I hope you guys are doing amazing and having an amazing week. This week that this podcast comes out, it’s actually my birthday week. So a good one! But I will be traveling on my birthday, speaking on an amazing event in Toronto, Archangel. So, nothing like getting to do what you seriously love for your birthday, though. I couldn’t complain at all. Today is going to be an interesting one, and I was inspired to do this…

You guys might have heard me talk about before, Angela Lauria. She is somebody that I’m working with, [I’m] in her program to write my book, which, hopefully by the time this episode comes out, it’ll be written, because that is why I’m going to Hawaii, to write it. So, she said something in a training the other day, and I loved it, because… If you know her, if you follow her… I love her so much, and she’s very, very direct with her communication. And so, what she actually said was, “Our belief in our company is that the customer is always wrong.”

And so, it’s just funny, because… I was going to title the podcast episode that, and I was like, “I don’t know. People might not understand what I’m about to say.” So it’s more that the customer’s not always right. And I love this, because I think that you guys should all look at your business this way. So let me explain what this means. And this is something I’ve actually had to talk to my team about, and it’s something that we do value as well. Which, it means [that] when somebody hires you, especially as a service business, but really with anything – a coach, service business, to buy your course, to buy your product, to buy your service…

If you offer a service, and you’re a chiropractor, for example, or a doctor, the customer’s not always right. They’re not supposed to always be right, because you are the expert. And so, this kind of thought, that like, “The customer is always right. We do whatever they say”… It actually kills you in your delivery, because they [your customer] hired you because [you’re] an expert. They hired you because they don’t know how to get the result that you’re going to help them get. And so, if you go at it [like], “They’re always right,” it’s actually going to hurt them. And so the way this has played out for our team is where I’ve had to actually train my ads managers, because my ads managers just want to make our clients happy.

That’s their number one goal, they’re happy when our clients are happy. But sometimes you have to push back and say like, “No, that strategy isn’t good,” or, “We wouldn’t recommend doing that,” or, “We really would recommend pushing this date back a week for success with these ads,” or, “We think changing the strategy right now would not be a good idea.” Whatever it is, you’re pushing back on an idea maybe that they had or, a lot of times for us, the way this shows up is, people want to change their strategy or do something where they don’t give themselves enough leeway, so they’re not being set up for success.

Those are the two main things. And you could say, “The customer’s always right, and so I’m going to just do that for them. I’m going to just accommodate, I’m going to make that change, and I’m not going to say anything because I want to keep them happy.” But that’s not the right way to do it. Because you as a business owner, and us specifically at Hirsh Marketing and as a service provider, we have a very in-depth process. We’ve done this hundreds and hundreds of times. We’ve spent millions and millions of dollars in ad spend. We’ve seen success. We are the experts, and that is why our customers and our clients hire us.

And so, if we just have our clients hire us and then listen to them… not to say they have bad ideas… sometimes, I’m just saying, when it’s not a good idea, the customer is not always right. They’re not supposed to be always right, because they’re hiring you as the expert. And so your job as the expert is to push back on the customer with your process, with your values, with what you believe is the way for them to get the result, because that’s why they hired you. And so I’ve had to train my ads managers to give them that confidence, to give them that permission to be like, “Don’t run with a strategy that you think is a bad idea just because it’s going to ‘make the client happy’ in the moment.”

Because what will happen is, in 30 days they’re not going to be happy anymore, because the strategy didn’t work and we didn’t say anything. And you know what? This goes the same for my company, as I’m saying this. For my employees, the one thing I always say is, “The only time I will be really upset at you is if you let us do something and you knew it was a bad idea and you didn’t say anything. That’s the only time. Otherwise, we can figure it out. We can look at process, we can evaluate, we can do all that. But if you think something is a bad idea or think it’s not going to work, or you have a better way that you could do something, and you don’t speak up and say something about it, I will be upset.” And that’s the same with our clients.

If they come to us and they say, “I want to launch next week. I have to do it next week,” or, “I want to change my whole strategy right now, because I’m not sure if this is working yet and it’s been a couple weeks,” our job is to say ‘no’ and put our foot down and say, “No, here’s why, and here is the plan.” And I think that it’s so powerful for people to own their content and their process and just everything about their delivery in that way so that you are really supporting the customer even more than the people who don’t do that. And if you don’t have content or process or… for us it’s The Hirsh Process. Everything we do is around that.

Everything we create is a very in-depth process, because it’s proven. It’s like what we know works. We’ve even gone as far as putting together case studies for clients that we’re like, “Look, this client changed their strategy.” We don’t give names in this case we’re like, “This client in the past changed their strategy, and here’s what happened,” so that they have that contrast and that example to know like, “I don’t want to make that same mistake.” And so we’re trying to save them from that mistake. But that’s our job, that’s why they hired us, we are the experts. And so if we don’t step up and own that, it will hurt our clients.

And so, in your delivery, if it’s a course, if it’s a service, if it’s coaching, whatever it is, you need to be so confident in your process that you’re able to be like, “No, this is how we get the end result. This is the path, this is the next step. We’re not going to waiver from this. All I ask for you, as my client or my customer, is to trust that. Do you trust that? You bought it from me. I think we can do that.” And obviously explaining it to them and making sure they’re clear on the plan, but your job is to be that expert. And so I thought this was just a really powerful way… So to quote her [Dr. Angela Lauria], what she said was, “Our company value is that the customer is always wrong”…

So she’s teaching people how to write books, and they have a very specific process for it. It’s a little bit different than what the normal process would be. They definitely do things differently. And so she says to her team, “Our job is to make sure that our clients follow this process, and if they suggest to us a different way, or they want to do this thing and it’s not our process, our job is to say ‘no.’ They’re not right. It’s not to be that accommodating person.” And I just thought that was really powerful, because also what that does is, it makes you feel like, as the client or as the customer, “Wow, this person knows their stuff.”

And you have that next level of trust in their confidence. Because how terrible [is it]… I’ve been in relationships where I paid somebody to do something, and then I was kind of doing what they said, and then I was like, I questioned it, right? So maybe I was following a program or what somebody recommended, I can’t think of an example off the top of my head, but I know I’ve been in this situation where I’ve done something somebody is saying, I question it, and then I start to think of a better way. And then if I go that better way, and I either, one start to see results, or I don’t get any pushback, then I doubt everything else that person’s teaching.

And I’m like, “Wait a second, I’m paying you, and you’re telling me this, but then I’m doing a different way, and you’re just kind of letting me do it. So I should just come up with what I’m doing anyways, because I’m coming up with the ideas.” And I know that people have also had this experience a lot with marketing. They’ll tell me like, “I hired an ads manager, but I’m the one sitting there driving all the strategy.” And part of that is because you hired an ads manager and you don’t have a strategist, you need both. But it feels terrible, right?

When you hire somebody and your expectation is that they’re going to drive it and they’re going to push back on you when needed and they’re going to bring you through a process that works and use their expertise… because the reason you hired them for whatever service or product or information that you did, you hired them to get a result that you know they’re an expert on and you’re not. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have hired them. And so, if you start to try to do your own thing just by kind of guessing or you think it’s right, and they don’t push back or they don’t give you any feedback on that or help guide you, you lose trust in everything else they teach.

And that’s happened to me a lot with coaches, because… I haven’t had a lot of coaches. And so, the couple that I’ve had are the ones who do push back on me, and they’re like, “I hear you there, Emily, but this is the way I suggest doing it, and here’s why.” And they kind of riff with me a little bit, and then I understand, and then I’m like, “Okay, I trust you. I’ll do this. I’ll try this.” And so, Alex Charfen is an example of that. And he’ll tell you, if you talk to him about me, he’ll be like, “Yeah, Emily, she pushed back at the beginning of our content so much. She didn’t want to do the daily huddle. She didn’t want to do this.” And I didn’t, it’s true.

Because in my head I was like, “I know better.” Which is silly, but I didn’t trust it. And so, I had to push back on him, and if he would’ve been like, “Yeah, it’s fine. You don’t have to do the daily huddle. You could do whatever you want,” I would’ve be like, “Wait a second. That’s your content. Aren’t you confident in that?” And instead he pushed back heavily on me, and he doesn’t waiver, and then I fully trust now what he says, to the point where, if he says something, I don’t really question it, I’m like, “Okay, I trust you.” But I had to build that trust.

And so, if you’re in that type of relationship, and you’re not owning your content and your process and your direction for getting clients the results that they want, or customers or results that they want, you’re doing your business a disservice, because you’re going to lose people’s trust. And also, you’re not going to help them get results. And so, if you have a team, you also have to train the team to do this, because it’s very hard. Remember your team members are employees, they just want to keep everybody happy. They want to keep their job, they want to do a good job. They want to over-deliver. They want you to be happy. They want the clients to be happy.

And so, it’s hard for them to make that decision and say, “Let me push back on the clients and potentially get some more pushback from the client until we get to a middle ground.” That’s hard for them. And so, the way you do it is, you continually educate them on the process. You put them through experiences where you support them, and you say, “I fully back your decision to push back on that. That’s exactly what I would do.” Then every time that little micro-experience happens, they have experience doing that and feel more confident doing it the next time around. But it’s so important that you do this and that you look at it this way, that your customers, your clients hired you because they don’t know how to get the result that you offer.

And if you don’t stand up for that and stick to your process and own it, you will hurt your company and your business. And I mean, how terrible is it also, to be like… I’ve been in a course before where people are giving advice in the Facebook group, the students, and none of either moderators or the course creators come and jump in. It’s like, “Wait a second. These students don’t know what they’re talking about. They hired you for the same reason I hired you. Why are they in here giving advice?” So it’s just funny, and Angela mentioned that, too.

People are in there giving advice about how to write books, who just hired her to [help them] write books, and she’s like, “The one thing we know is they do not know how to write a book, because they hired me.” So make sure you do this, and you build out this process in your delivery, and it will be really powerful. It’s been really powerful for us. It’s also just helped to build amazing client relationships, because… like I just said with a team member where you build that micro-confidence every time they have that experience, it’s the same with a client or a customer. So for me, whenever I had those little experiences with Alex in the beginning, when I pushed back and he pushed back on me, I built a little bit of trust with him. With our clients, when we push back and then they do what we say and it works, we’re building that trust with them. And so, same with your clients and your customers.

So a different way of thinking about it, and I think it’s really important for the service industry especially, but also for the coaching. I mean, Alex [Charfen] is a coach to me, and that was very important, that he constantly followed his process and stood up for his process and his beliefs. And make sure your beliefs are a little bit polarizing, everyone doesn’t have to agree with it. And you know what? If you lose some clients because they don’t agree with it, or customers, then they didn’t fit your process, then you need to go look at your onboarding, your sales process, because you’re bringing on the wrong people.

And so… you want to have that polarization. You want to know exactly like, “Here are the people we work with, here are the people we don’t work with.” And it’s not everyone, remember that. All right you guys. So hopefully this was helpful. I know it was a fun thing for me to listen to, and just as a great reminder. So I always try to bring those things to the podcast. So thanks so much for tuning in today guys, and I will see you all next time.

Thanks for listening to The Hirsh Marketing Underground Podcast. Go behind the scenes of multimillion dollar ad campaigns and strategies, dive deep into The Hirsh Process, and listen to our most popular episodes over at HirshMarketingUnderground.com. If you loved this episode of the podcast, do me a favor and head over to iTunes to subscribe and leave a review, so we can reach more people and change more lives with this content. That’s all for now, and I’ll catch you next time.