I have to say, it absolutely astounds me. At first I could hardly believe what I was hearing. It’s hard to take in that so many business owners are actually reluctant to really put them themselves “out there” – in case they end up with too many clients!!!
I’m not exempt myself – I’ve probably been guilty of this too. But how foolish…
Have you ever had to deal with clients who waste your time or are unrealistic in their demands?
Do you put up with clients who consistently pay late, change their minds or mess up your schedule, expect miracles in terms of timing, insist on and haggle over discounts and are just downright stressful to work with?
If so, you may need to change the way you think. It should be a privilege for people to avail of your services. You are not begging for their money. You’re offering them something valuable – often more valuable than the money they are paying you. You are doing THEM a favour by being willing to work with them!
A more profitable marketing strategy is to position yourself to attract just those clients who appreciate the opportunity to work with you and with whom you will enjoy working. Clients who you can be honest and direct with, who you look forward to working with. You will make more money and have more job satisfaction.
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could pick and choose your clients? The more prospective clients you come in contact with, the more you can do this!
While you can’t completely control who contacts you, you can use your marketing to position yourself to attract promising prospects and people who would make GOOD clients. Here’s how:
Define Your Ideal Client
Start by looking at your most profitable and ideal clients – from your existing client base. (consider sending them a letter of appreciation telling them they are your best clients and encouraging their custom)
- Where are they located?
- What type of person are they?
- What is their situation?
- What are the problems they want solved?
- What are other characteristics that are important to you?
You can’t be everything to everybody and it’s a waste of your time to try. Create a short list of questions based on your definition of an ideal client to determine whether a prospective client is a good fit for your business. Use these questions when you call them on the phone (people often include them in service Enquiry Forms on their web sites). If prospects don’t meet your criteria, you can keep them on your mailing list, but avoid wasting your time by calling them.
Your list of questions will also help you to determine the expectations of your potential clients. If you can meet these requests, provide them with a summary of your services based on what they have requested. That way you will both be working from the same script.
Before you close a deal or sign an agreement, make sure they clearly understand what you will do and when – eg – when you can be contacted and what services will incur an additional charge.
Get Rid of Problem Clients
With only a limited number of hours a day and years in your life, you’ll be happier and more profitable if you focus your marketing on clients that understand and appreciate your expertise. They’ll be far more likely to return and more likely to refer you to others. If you have clients who are unpleasant to work with or are taking up too much of your time, find a way to tactfully get them to look elsewhere.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure…” Marianne Williamson