What Furniture Polish Taught Me About Client Attraction

Feb 23, 2022

What does furniture polish have to do with attracting clients? More than you might think. In this episode, I talk about one of the biggest pitfalls that can happen to entrepreneurs of all experience and skill levels—falling into a rut and going through the motions.

You may think that as long as you do your daily revenue-generating tasks, that it's all good. The job is done, right? So you can sit back and relax.

In reality, your results don't just depend on what you do, but also on how you do it and the energy and focus you bring to your client attraction process. Join me for this episode as I share the four things you really need to consistently get coaching clients: 

  • Intention
  • Context
  • Confidence
  • Consistency

In today's episode, I am going to be talking about something that  entrepreneurs and coaches of all levels and experiences should really be aware of, and it's this pitfall of going through the motions, or almost getting stuck in a rut, with your client attraction process, such that the entire process of connecting and building relationships with your ideal clients begins to feel like it's a little bit on autopilot in not a good way. 

Growing up, my mom decided to go back to medical school when I was maybe seven or eight years old, and my little brother was around four or five years old, and what that meant is that my dad was doing a lot of the cleaning and cooking around the house. My mom, bless her heart, was working so hard studying and going through this process of becoming a physician that she didn't have the time, energy, or capacity to clean or cook around the house. And my dad, bless his heart as well, was working a full time job, but he had a little bit more flexibility, so he could come and pick up my brother and me from school in the afternoons, or come home a little bit early to cook dinner so that dinner would be ready when my mom arrived home. 

Looking back, I have massive respect and admiration for my parents who were really trying to keep food on the table, trying to go back to school, trying to keep a house clean, and trying to keep two small children alive. And as someone who can absolutely not multitask, the idea of doing two of those things—much less all of them—is entirely overwhelming and seems crazy to me. But when I was little, I remember this one story that really lived on in my family's history: My dad was doing some cleaning around the house while my mom was at school in lecture or something, and he spent a large part of the day really trying to make sure that the house was spotless for when my mom got home, a real true act of love for her. When she got home that evening, he was so excited for her to see how clean the house was, because he spent a lot of time on it. He had cleaned the kitchen top to bottom, cleaned the bathroom top to bottom, and had polished every piece of furniture in that entire house. 

Granted, the house was not very big, but he still polished every piece of furniture in it. When my mom got home, she looked around and the first thing she said was, “What's that on the cedar chest over there?” this big wooden cedar chest that my parents have had as long as I can remember. She walked up to it and she wiped it with her finger and rubbed her fingers together and said, “What's on this furniture?” I remember my dad was a little bit confused. He said, “Well, it's furniture polish; it's Pledge.” She said, “Are you sure?” He looked at it, nodded, and said, “Yeah, it's Pledge.” She said, “Okay, show me the bottle. Let me see it,” so he went and got this aerosol can of furniture polish and handed it to her. 

She said, “This is spray starch. This is Niagra spray starch for laundry,” and she walked over to the closet—I remember very clearly the closet next to the bathroom—and opened it and looked on the shelf, and right next to where he had gotten that can of Niagra spray starch was the can of Pledge. Now I don't remember ever actually seeing either of these two cans, but suffice it to say, the labels are very similar. It's a common mistake, maybe not so common, but it's an understandable mistake, supposedly. But even though he might have mixed up the cans, he didn't quite notice when he was polishing furniture that he wasn't actually polishing the dust off, but he was adding a layer or a film of starch to every piece of wooden furniture in the house. 

Now, as far as how this relates to your client attraction process, well, we could go in a variety of different ways with this metaphor. We can talk about using the wrong tool for the job, so using maybe one marketing and sales tactic when another one would get you better results. Or we could talk about how the things that you're trying to do to help your business might actually not be the things that you need to be doing. But in today's episode, I think this really relates back to this idea of going through the motions, of thinking you're doing the right things, and continuing to do them, but having lost the deeper level of motivation that needs to be there, so you're not paying attention as much as you should be. 

Several years ago, I had a similar kind of experience where, for the first time in my life, my client attraction process was actually working really, really well. But as a result, I started to find myself getting complacent and continuing to go through those motions, without really bringing the energy that I needed to those tasks, to that daily action. And that really started to affect my results, because I was not as invested in that moment as I needed to be in my business, and I was just doing the things that I knew I should be doing, but I wasn't really thinking about what I was doing. 

What I noticed is that I was failing to do several things. I was failing to have an intention, or I was losing the intention behind what I was doing. I was failing to have a plan for how each individual thing I was doing related to the larger context of my business goals, so everything I was doing became isolated and detached from the larger goals or purpose. Ultimately, what that led to was that I started to fall off of my routine of taking these consistent actions every day. I would maybe skip one day, and I'd say, “Okay, that's fine. It's just one day,” and then one day became two days, and two days became three. I had totally disconnected from this process that was previously making me good money.

In breaking down this situation and trying to figure out the key pieces that I really needed to have in order to continue to get results, there are four things that came up for me that I think we all need for an effective client attraction process. Those are intention, context, confidence, and consistency. When you have those things, that's when you're able to get in front of the right people, generate more leads, and really help your clients get where they want to be. Intention is why you're doing what you're doing, not just why you're doing this whole coaching thing or why you want to help people, but why you're taking each individual action in your business. The second is context, so that's how each individual action or task relates to everything else, relates to that larger picture. Competence is being 100% sure that you're doing the right things, that you're taking the right actions. Consistency is taking those actions and taking them productively every single day. 

When you have those four things, that's what's going to keep you from falling in this trap of just going through the motions and getting stuck in a rut with your business. Having these four things is what's going to help you continue that trajectory of growth that you want to see in your business. As always, thank you so much for joining me for today's episode of the Client Attractor Show. I'm your host, Jacob Ratliff, and I will see you tomorrow for our next episode. Take care.

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