Have you ever said: “Every time I see so-and-so on my schedule, I want to throw up.” I have. But, will you stop accepting non-ideal clients already?
Well, you’re discovering a crucial business truth:
There is no amount of money you can get is worth working with a non-ideal client.
Some business owners still do it. Oh, but why?
Fear. Mostly fear. Of what, though?
Fear that you’re lucky to have clients at all.
You fear that your clients will clear out and leave you with nothing.
Afraid that the who do you think you are syndrome will show up.
Fearing you are getting high, mighty and selective?
It boils down to the lack mentality playing tricks on you again.
The truth is that you have to set your business up to serve you, first. Then and only then will you be able to serve others.
Do you? When will you stop accepting non-ideal clients already?
[tweetthis]Taking on non-ideal clients will drain you dry. I can promise you that! [/tweetthis]
What is a non-ideal client anyway?
The definition of a non-ideal client is different for every owner. But there are some general traits to look at when deciding…
Someone who doesn’t do the work.
A person who you must convince over and over.
One who is never prepared.
An individual who whines, gossips, or criticizes.
Someone who claims they don’t have the money to install your ideas.
Are you working with non-ideal clients now?
Well, do you want to puke or pull your hair out when you think of someone? Those are pretty big clues.
Do you dread calls or meetings with this client? Do you feel drained by working with them?
Of course there are challenging patches with all your clients. But, you can be work through those. You know they are temporary.
When you have a non-ideal client, the person continually attacks, pushes back or slacks off.
You know the ones I’m talking about!
Do yourself a favor and fire them. Fire them now.
Stop accepting non-ideal clients already!
Getting better clients for your business
It takes clarity. It takes courage to set up a velvet rope policy, as Michael Port calls it. What that does is you are able to decide who is a non-ideal client, and, weed them out. It is so worth it.
Know who your ideal client is
I can’t stress this enough.
You have to know everything about your ideal client. Don’t hem and haw in describing who this person is.
If the person needs to make a certain amount of money to profit from working with you, state that clearly.
Get crystal clear about who they are.
Set up a system for prospects
What are the qualities your best clients need to have for you to do your best work with them?
Quick. How can they show you that he/she has those qualities? There is no one-size fits all here. You have to do the hard work in defining what it is that they need to show you to work with you.
One way is to go: “Well, here’s how I do things…”
And, outline your client intake process. Tell them the steps involved and assign some homework as well as required reading.
Assign homework and required reading
“Uh-oh,” you’re thinking, “am I teaching school or running a business here?”
Giving them some pre-activity serves a purpose. You’re positioning yourself as someone who is selective from the start.
Before discussing your services, give the prospect some work to do. Ask them to fill in a questionnaire. Give them some required reading (or listening) about who you are and the results you deliver.
And, if they don’t do the work, you know they won’t do the work once they’re clients. Ask yourself whether you will get done what you want to do with them.
Reschedule? What reschedule?
If they do not show up for your initial call, no rescheduling. Your time is too valuable for getting stood up.
If they don’t do the homework, you can reschedule one time only. Let them know firmly and gently that you expect them to do their homework. That your policy is to allow for a single reschedule. Period.
Sounds harsh, doesn’t it? But, think about it. If they don’t do it now, they won’t do the work later either.
Be clear about who you don’t work with
[tweetthis]Make sure that you have a definition of who you’ll not work with on your site. Make it visible. [/tweetthis]
When you have your initial call, share who is not an ideal client for you with them. Most prospects will appreciate hearing you speak clearly about who should not hire you.
Whiners will avoid you like the plague. You will offend the criticizers and they’ll leave in a huff. Those who want you to give your services for free will accuse you of being a jackass.
It doesn’t matter. Don’t get offended or hurt. It’s their opinion, their loss not working with you.
In the end, you serve those who you can help most. You will be so very grateful.
Warm hugs to you!