If you are a client of mine or have heard me speak, then you know that I am a firm believer that you have to know who your ideal client is. Equally important is that you need to know and recognize the type of clients that you enjoy working with versus the ones you avoid at all costs. Regardless of how long you have been in business we have all ran across those clients that we secretly wish we did not begin working with.
I am sure that you are fully aware of the type of people you don’t want to work with. However, in my experience sometimes we don’t recognize the early warning signs.
In reviewing the list below think about clients or potential clients that have similar denominators from the list.
- Do they add value to your business?
- Do you find that you avoid clients with these traits?
- Do you feel like you are giving the best of what you have to offer these types of clients?
Here is the thing…you put in a lot of time, resources, energy and effort into building and marketing your business. You want to attract clients that will benefit from what you have to offer, those you can add value to and who will refer others to you. Non ideal clients can actually cost you quite a bit in time, resources and money.
Let’s jump right in!
1.) The Negotiator. This is the person that is always trying to negotiate your fees. I understand we are living in a different economy, which is why it is important to offer programs and packages that provide options in terms of costs. You don’t want to run the risk of de-valuing your services by constantly negotiating your fees. Once you start negotiating your fee, they will always ask for a reduced fee. Is this fair to those that pay your full fee? You don’t want the reputation that you charge some people one price and others something different.
2.) The Skeptic. This is the person that will ask you if there is a money back guarantee before they try anything you offer. They present a list of questions that are outside of the norm of what most clients ask. They consistently show doubt about your services and programs. Why is this someone to avoid? Simply put, they are already thinking that what you have to offer may not work. You want clients that are excited and ready to grow, not ones that doubt what you offer before they try your services.
3.) The Pretender. This is the person that seems so excited about what you have to offer, they are always asking for more information, they are constantly stating they will help market an event, join or sign up for an event or program …… but they never do!
4.) The Rude or Insensitive. I have had clients that were great to me in the introductory phase but once we entered the business relationship they became very rude or insensitive to my team. They would not work with them or deal with anyone but me. When I see this behavior I immediately jump on it and often times, I will end the relationship. I don’t tolerate anyone being rude or insensitive to my team. If you can not respect my team I certainly am not the right person for you. So look at how your clients or potentials clients treat your team and/or volunteers.
5.) The Non-Listener/Inactive. This is the person that you have signed up for you program or service and has not done any of the pre-work required. You notice that anytime you talk to them about do any pre-work they don’t complete it. What you will tend to find with these clients is that you want more for them, than they are ready to invest in themselves. That is a red flag that they may not be good with follow-up or follow through. You are not a babysitting service.
So what do you do if a potential client is one that is listed? I simply don’t go any further in the relationship. Once I see the tale-tale signs that they may not be an ideal client, I would share with them that I may not be the best person to coach them.
I believe in operating my business in integrity and with authenticity. There is nothing wrong with recognizing that someone may not be a good fit for you.
Remember, you want the client relationship to be a win-win for both sides.
- Take some time and look at your current list and see if everyone you work with is truly your ideal client.
- Look at the common traits of clients that you enjoy working with and who thrive when working with you.
- Clearly outline what types of clients you work best with. This can be on your website and your marketing materials.
- Always go with your intuition. If you don’t feel 100% positive about the relationship start to look for any red flags.
- You can not afford to fill your business with non ideal clients that can drain you and your resources.
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About U Impact, LLC: U Impact, LLC provides coaching and business implementation and strategy programs for women starting their own businesses and non-profits. We show entrepreneurs how to maximize their marketing efforts, create systems for their business, attract their ideal client, and how to strategically build their business for maximum results. For more information please go to: http://www.uimpact.net.
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