Frequently Asked Questions
In short, it is that everyone, everywhere tells you that to improve your career, focus on getting better at your craft – that is, get better at what you do. Another contingent tells you that to improve your career, you need to sell, sell, sell and turn yourself into a cheesy salesman.
Here at Beloved by Clients, I’m creating a third school of thought: that the secret is making those who work with you, and above you – most importantly, your clients and your boss or manager – fall in love with the process of working with you, in every tiny little detail.
This is an open secret, in every profession, because every experienced professional knows that every client cares about how you work, with at a very minimum equal importance of the results of your work.
Two important points on that.
First, much of my bluntness and directness is not direct at you, the students, but at the industries, teachers, mentors, writers, bloggers, colleagues, and everyone in your orbit who has been lying to you, telling you only to improve your craft and telling you to focus on better results. I am blunt in criticizing them; you are not the one I’m criticizing, but they are!
Secondly, in our 1‑on‑1‑s and Slack channel and office hours, when we talk about your personal situations and you ask for advice, then: I practice what I preach, and am “blunt, but framed positively.” This is one of the lessons of the course, in other words. It’s important to be strong and direct to the point where the other side truly internalizes the importance of what you’re saying; but not in a way that destroys their ego and self-esteem and confidence. It’s a fine line to balance, and you will witness me balancing that line as I mentor you.
Are you actually claiming that results don’t matter whatsoever in any way? That it’s okay if I’m terrible at my work?
No, no, no!
Of course results matter. You need to be good at your work. You need to be on top of your game.
(Of course, there is a “However” or a “But”!)
However, my argument is that in addition to doing a great job, in addition to the results you deliver, there is something else that is of at least equal (and perhaps more) importance than just the results. This is making your clients fall in love with working with you.
In other words, I’m not saying that you can do worse or bad work. That’s not acceptable for anyone! I’m saying you need to do more in addition to the work itself per se, to supplement your normal work – with this extra part not focusing on the direct results itself, but in the process and the how you work. And that is the focus of the course.
Today, as a mature professional, the answer is: yes, the vast majority I do follow, and while not perfectly – does perfection exist? – I try very obsessively to come very close to it. And I hope I do!
But earlier in my career, a decade or two ago, the answer would have been very different:
I’ve made every mistake a high-integrity professional could make in dealing with the most demanding clients on earth.
Life thrust me directly into the fire, in other words, and it burned my skin.
The lessons and stories in the book aren’t theoretical and academic conclusions based on studies that say how we should behave. It’s a personal book based on a personal life experience, based on what I’ve found works better and worse in making clients fall in love with how you work. It is my attempt to put a framework and lessons around what I’ve tried to do in managing clients and learned what works best.
Unfortunately, my answer is not the answer I’d like to give.
I’d love to have been able to answer this question by saying, “I find this topic academically very interesting and have been studying it for yours, and have written the definitive guide that is objectively true according to the strict requirements of modern science.” As someone with a literary, academic, and reader’s heart, that would have been my dream book to have written – at least from the eyes of the 21 year old version of myself.
But the real answer to the question does give me interesting stories to tell in retrospect, but was painful to live through. A lifetime of dealing with difficult clients, with the most demanding standards – and that led to more than one painful experience after another.
Indeed, the stories in the classes are forged by fire in the depths of hell – metaphorically, of course.
More broadly, don’t think I’ve done everything perfectly and teach the stories from a place of perfection. Not at all. Almost everything I advise against in the book, I have done at least once – earlier in my career, many more than one time! – and indeed, the 11 year process of writing the book helped me clarify my strategies themselves. There is a reason why the book is dedicated to my past clients, especially those with whom I have committed the errors I have learned from.
The short answer to that question is: all three, and a bit more!
The longer answer is that this is really for anyone who needs to have a professional relationship with anyone else. And professional relationships tend to fall into three categories:
- Employees; that is, people who have to report to a boss.
- Freelancers; that is, independent free-agents who work with a few different clients. There is a boss – and the boss is the client.
- Partners, VP‑s, or C‑level executives at firms; that is, people who need to manage (often complex) relationships with other professionals. The partners are the boss!
- Anyone who deals with complex relationships with customers. The book is not that useful for someone who just works at a cash register, smiles, and tells them the bill, and collects the money. And for relatively simple customer relationships, like perhaps working on the wait staff of a restaurant, the advice here is less useful. But when it gets to complex, long-term customer relationships, then the advice becomes powerful.
- Finally, the advice here is a super-power for sales teams. While the book is not a sales book, in any complex sales process, the practical advice in the course is likely to supercharge the sales process and make the potential client want to work with you as much as your existing clients.
Is this the sort of advice I can read in articles and blogs online? Is there anything else like this online?
If you’re looking for the same sort of advice you can read on a random blog post here or random article there, this isn’t for you.
The concepts here come straight from my brain, as shaped by my intense experiences managing the most challenging clients imaginable, and fine-tuned over the years managing and teaching my employees these very tips. This class has been in the making my whole professional life, and as a formal list I’ve been tracking and building out and fleshing out, it’s been 11 years in the making.
More broadly, I felt the need to write this book precisely because is was nothing like this online. The advice about making your clients happy, as well as succeeding in your career, that you read online overwhelmingly falls into the two categories of “focus on results, results, results” or otherwise, just super-generic platitudes about “be transparent!”, “Communicate clearly!” and a lot of advice that when I read it, I think, “Thank you, Einstein!” I wanted something forged by my experienced, that is very specific and can be turned into action even by the inexperienced. And thus this book was born.
The advice here isn’t based on academic studies that take some 18 year old students and put them into a bubble and ask them hypothetical questions and then deduce human behavior theories from it. No, no.
The advice here isn’t based on articles and blog posts and newspaper clippings found online. No, no.
The advice here isn’t based on canonical business-book or self-help literature, nor any other airport-book style book.
Rather, it’s based on my – yes, it’s me, Morgan, writing this – lifelong experience of dealing with difficult clients. If I’ve figured out how to please the most challenging clients in the universe, these techniques will work with double the power on your clients.
I started compiling these techniques 11 years ago, when I was thrust into the managing role that was the “straw that broke the camel’s back,” and made me realize I had to train seemingly every employee in now just the details of our work, but in the broader “How” to work, while also realizing I needed to structure how I managed my clients, both to excite them the most and also so I could train my employees in how to manage the clients directly without me.
So I started keeping a list, expanding the list, and over 11 years, and many roles with many clients, it turned into the core the classes. The best practices shared here are borne from painful experiences.
No, this is not a sales course (although the tips could help with sales).
Yes, this is a book about working in a way that is both professional and makes anyone you work with want to come back to you for more, more, and even more work – so indirectly, it supports any sales approach or training.
The advice of the course is profession-agnostic.
Most of the advice falls into general categories such as communication, documentation, dealing with problems, dealing with difficult personalities, dealing with problems caused by other people, dealings with problems you cause yourself, verbiage/wording, reading between lines, interpreting complex signals, and so forth – issues that every professional needs to deal with constantly, in any profession.
I’m a big believer that even a small step towards a healthy direction is much better than no step at all. Implementing 1% or 10% or 50% of the best practices brings you much closer than implementing none of them.
Indeed, so few of these are followed at all, that just following 5% of the tips here strongly should give you a substantial boost as compared to your competition.
I always aim for perfection, in other words, but – particularly when your competition isn’t even focused on making their clients fall in love with them – a few small steps can go a long way.
Indeed, this is one point argued at various points throughout the book. Are you worried to document a process or write up a strategic doc or even just type of meeting notes or put forth an agenda for a call? A worse version, an imperfect version, a flawed version of any of those is much – much! – better than none at all. And appreciated by all much more any specks or flaws that will be in the document.
We have a half-refund process. It is this:
- If you buy the book-only (the the entire course) directly from Amazon, then you can follow the standard Amazon return policies.
- If you buy the full course and we send you the book as part of it, then, after 30 days and both 1‑on‑1‑s with Morgan, if you feel like you haven’t gotten enough value, then you’ll have another call with Morgan to tell him what the problem was and mail us back the physical book – and then we will return 50% of the cost.
That’s how confident we are you will get enormous value from the course!
Yes, if you supervise workers, this is a great way to train them to be more professional and get clients to love working with your company! Just reach out to us and we’ll figure out a plan that works best for your business. And don’t forget our BBC for Teams, in which we do special training for your company!
Your sessions will be recorded! Each of your three sessions will be available once you get access to our portal, that way, you can access your personalized tips any time you need.
Once you enroll in the course, you can continue participating in the course for at least 1 year.
During that year, there is no limit to the engagement in the Slack channel, office hours, and you get full access to the online content. You are limited, however, to two 29-minute 1‑on‑1‑s with Morgan.
You will be sent a copy of the physical book, so that you can continue referencing the advice even after the year.
You will learn a number of transferable skills that will be helpful in any professional scenario. These range from best communication practices to working with difficult clients, you can deep dive into more specific examples in our “The Course” page. The categories of skills include: how to improve your communication – written and spoken; how to apologize when you mess up; how to improving your timing; how and when to show respect, or lack of respect; when to go along, and when to push back; how to frame and word things that are difficult to say; how to bite off more than you can chew; why and how to try things at work you’re uncomfortable with; why and how to prep for meetings; why and how to follow-up; how to have difficult conversations with your client; and so forth.
Yes! One of the best parts of this course is that you will be given access to a community of other professionals who are enrolled; all participants have a Slack in which we freely and daily talk to each other, in an environment that is 100% trustworthy (or at least as close to “100%” as one could reasonably expect to get!) and fully confidential. These will include people from different industries and backgrounds, which opens the opportunity to network and learn from each other’s experiences.
Yes! By getting access to the course you will have the opportunity to talk to Morgan Friedman, our founder & lead Managing-Up expert, to ask questions and discuss the best ways to apply these tips to your own career. You will join him in two personal, one-on-one 29-minute personal consulting sessions that will be customized to your work. Additionally, during the office hours and on the Slack channel, you can publicly talk and ask questions of him, and the community as well.
Just imagine these two scenarios.
Scenario #1: you pay a lawyer $2,200 for some advice on a complex situation. He gives you great advice.
Scenario #2: you pay a lawyer $2,200 for some advice on a complex situation. He gives you great advice. And during the meeting, he put away his phone to give you his 100% attention with no other distractions in the universe (unlike the first lawyer!). Additionally, his meeting with you was just two days after your call, and he responded to every email within the same business day (unlike the first lawyer!). Additionally, he writes up his conclusions in a document for you. And he calls you a month later just to see how it went if you followed it or not. And his advice included a list of the ways in which his advice may have an unexpected response – and what to do. And so forth, for 160 other little details along these lines.
Which lawyer would you recommend and want to go back to? Even if the advice and the price are the same – you’d want to go back to and recommend the second one, a hundred times over.
The best practices in the courses are along the lines in this fictional example. And the objective is all about turning you from a lawyer in the first bucket, to a lawyer in the second bucket.
No prior professional experience is necessary, anyone from any industry will benefit from this course! And even if you aren’t managing clients now, these skills are useful and transferrable to any professional interaction.
That said, we can separate students and potential students into two types:
Those who have been burned; and those who are too young to have been burned.
Let me say that differently. In everyone’s career, you will face one point where clients or bosses treat you terribly. Often taking advantage of you. Often in very serious ways.
The younger students are the ones who want to master the art of client management before that burn turns to them in a serious way.
The mid-career students – I don’t want to say “older” because that would put me into that category! – are the ones who have experienced it and want to up their client-management game to the next level.
The first and only requirement is to want to learn how to manage and work best with your clients and your boss. Anyone who wants to learn is welcome to join!
There are a few ways to answer this question:
- Learning how to make your boss or client love working with you is only great for your career.
- Learning how to make your boss or client love working with you will result in smoother work experiences – in particular, helping you avoid fires, and helping you to put out fires.
- Through the office hours, 1‑on‑1‑s and Slack community, you can get very specific advice for your particular situation.
- The community is a great way to meet other like-minded professionals
- Working one-on-one with Morgan in the 1‑on‑1 directly is quite an experience onto itself.
- More broadly, while the book is about managing professional relationships, a lot of the advice could apply powerfully to non-professional relationships as well.