I’ve spent the past two weeks in various parts of France, including Avignon, San Tropez, Paris and Antibes. Regardless of what part of France I’m in, I’ve noticed one thing that remains consistent among the French: they have no problem with the word ‘no.’
When the answer to your question or request is no, the French do not explain why the answer is no, they simply state the word no. The end.
I have witnessed The French No on many occasions since being here including in these two scenarios:
- Watching a group of British women at the table next to me at a French cafe request avocado on their chicken sandwiches. The convo went like this: “Can I have avocado with that?” The waiter: “No.” The British woman: “Okay.” ** looks away sullenly** #theend
- My friends and I arrive to a fabulous restaurant in Paris. We have a reservation and we’re pretty damn hot so we think there should be no problem with grabbing the big lovely table at the front of the restaurant (clearly the best table in the house). The restaurant manager's response? No. The end. No explanation. I must admit we were a little miffed (being the hot, spoiled, armed-with-a-reservation Americans that we are who are not used to hearing the word no). However, we quickly got over it once we had a seat in our squished little corner and began to experience the excellent service and absolutely exquisite meal that was provided to us. Would I go back? Fuck yeah, I will! In fact, I’ve already made two reservations for this incredible restaurant for my Handled: Paris client and one next week and for me and my husband. The experience was incredible even though it began with the word no (and even when experienced from a squished corner).
So what the hell does all of this have to do with business policies?
I realize that when you provide an outstanding service, you are delivering results and providing an incredible experience for your clients, you can put appropriate boundaries in place to ensure that you are happy to keep doing this work, that you are creating the best environment for yourself to do your best work and that your client’s needs are met.
We, Americans, often have issues with saying no and setting up boundaries. What the French have taught me is that boundaries do not equal homelessness.
You can absolutely have a thriving business and have appropriate boundaries in place as well.
In fact, the likely result is that you will have a more thriving business when you put boundaries in place. Here are a few more examples from my French adventure thus far:
- My husband and I walked into a French shoe store to purchase a pair of shoes for him. We had eyed them in the window for several days and were ready to hand over some cash. We walked into the store, and no one rushed to find out what shoe they could grab for us. In fact, there was no rushing for anyone anywhere in sight.
- Halfway through a really, really, really long bike ride (30 miles in total — but that’s a story for another post!), my friends and I sat ourselves at a French cafe. When we asked for menus, we were told to go elsewhere if we wanted to eat because, from what I could tell, she simply didn’t feel like cooking right then, but she would provide us with beverages. We didn’t go elsewhere, we drank our beverages and shut the hell up.
- The Rotisserie shop in our neighborhood here in Antibes has hours posted outside of it’s doors. Yet we’ve only seen it open once since we’ve been here and not during the posted hours. We’ve experienced this with a few retail shops here, there posted operating hours are merely a set of hours in which they will potentially be open, not hard and fast.
The French simply are not as motivated by money as Americans are. And they are onto something. Because despite being known for terrible service (this is not every place mind you, I’ve experienced some exceptional service while here in France), they are the most visited country in the world. Because the experience they offer is magical, despite the fact that they will make you jump through a few hoops to experience it (like refusing to speak in English until you at least show an effort to speak a few words in French). 85 million visitors (myself included) are more than willing to jump through these hoops to experience France.
All of this has led to the creation of my new Paris Policies that Rodgers Collective will hereby work under. Consider it a new set of boundaries for my business. Here’s what The Paris Policies look like:
I do not offer refunds. On anything. Ever. Except where required by law, I do not offer refunds under pretty much any circumstances (if a family member dies, and you can’t come to a retreat, I may make an exception, but really no promises). I want to provide my services to people who are committed to experiencing what I have to offer. Wishy washy purchases lead to unpleasant experiences for both me and my client. Therefore, I no longer offer refunds of any kind. Do not ask. The answer will simply be no. Full stop. No explanation required. This is how my business rolls.
I know that this may seem controversial and that sometimes things change after a purchase is made, however, if things change after a purchase is made, that is not something that I want to be required to address. That is for the purchaser to address. It may sound harsh, but I do not want to spend my days sorting through refund requests and figuring out what’s fair. Especially because these things can pile up from multiple clients at once, leading to lots of unnecessary stress and strife. Instead, I want to spend my days doing life changing work for entrepreneurs
I no longer offer payment plans on purchases of $2,500 or less. I have noticed that when clients make smaller investments to work with me, they are more likely not to commit fully to the program (and therefore not get the result). I want my people to get results! That is the entire point of doing the work that I do. Therefore, I will require full payment on any services or products offered at a price point under $2,500. In addition to larger financial commitments leading to larger mental commitments, I simply do not want to be chasing payments from clients.
So I will reserve my payment plans for my programs and services that require larger investments and therefore a larger commitment. Clients who sign up for these kinds of programs are less likely to default or drop out when they have made a larger commitment. And even for those programs, the payments plans will likely involve larger payments over a shorter period of time. I know for some this will make it harder to invest, but I believe those that truly want to get the results that I can provide, and want my help doing it, will be able to work with me if that is what they truly want. We all find ways to invest in the things that we really want. That’s what I am requiring from now on.
Believe it or not, this is more of a small tweak than a massive change. The vast majority of my clients pay in full for most of my programs under $2,500 already. Very few of my clients actually take advantage of the payment plans. And I don’t offer refunds on most of my services already. Making this small tweak, will continue to meet my client’s needs and remove much of the headache and distraction that comes with managing smaller payment plans and dealing with refund requests.
I am super excited about my new Paris Policies and know that putting these new policies in place will enable me to do even greater work for all of you. Because there is so much more magic coming, just you wait.
PS: My new Paris Policies are going into effect very soon. This means that the payment plan for Multiply is going away. Multiply is my new 8-week masterclass where you can work with me virtually to create your smash product. In this class, you will have me guiding you, coaching you and showing you the behind-the-scenes of my specific process of creating an effective product that makes bank. If you would like to get access to Multiply and want to take advantage of the payment plan, I encourage you to sign up by this Wednesday, September 21st. After that, the payment plan goes away. (Note that the Multiply + MADE payment plan will be updated to a 4-pay plan, rather than a 6-pay, after 9/21). There are only 4 spots left and we begin as soon as I get back from France on October 5th. Get all the details and grab one of the last few spots here.