If you're charging what you're worth then you're
going to be cutting loose the bottom 10-15% of your clients each year.
But nobody likes to be "the bad guy"
so when the time comes to move on what do you do? The answer isn't
to just pack their bag and say, "See you later Charlie!".
Nor is it to hang on to the guilt-and the clients-"because
you don't want to hurt their feelings."
First let's be clear about the clients I'm talking
about. They're the ones that they love you and what you do, but typically
can't afford to pay your top fees. They're still a fan of yours, although
they're unlikely to make the kind of changes-and get the kind
of results-your top clients make. In a nutshell, they're nice,
you like them, but they're always on the fringe of your core service.
about are the clients who take up buckets of your time and attention,
complain, and cost you far more in energy than they ever pay (when
they do get around to paying, which is usually late). I call these
"dread-not" clients because when you hear their voice or
see their email, you dread it and think, "not again!"
Here are three simple, respectful steps
you can use to take great care of your fringe clients, increase your
income, AND work less!
Step #1 Decide what's best for YOU
and your business first!
I know you love to help everyone, but the plain fact is, you can't.
When I faced up to this fact, I felt a huge weight lift off my shoulders.
Decide right now to focus on your most profitable clients and your
most profitable services.
You're probably immediately launching into the "what
if's" and the "yes but's". My coaching on this? Don't
go there. Those are just excuses and guilt weighing you down and keeping
you where you are now (which is working too hard, right?) What's best
for your business is YOU feeling fresh, inspired, and having fun so
you can create
extraordinary results for
the people you personally work with.
Step #2 Create an alternative solution
for your fringe clients
Now that you've decided to focus your time on your most profitable
clients and services, you've opened up an opportunity to create optional
products and new delivery methods that expand your business, while
taking up lots less of your time.
For example, I am so into creating information products
I can hardly sit still. Information products are easy to create, can
be sold 24/7 on your website, and instantly position you as an expert.
They are the perfect solution to offering a solution to your fringe
clients without spending any of your precious time. (By the way -
I am putting together an incredibly fun and easy solution so you too
can have your own information product. Watch for my special announcement
later this summer).
Another example is rolling fringe
clients into a group, a class, or a workshop. This isn't just a bone
you're throwing them. It's actually a powerful way to build your brand
and your bottom line. People who buy your products or attend your
classes know, like, and trust you. They'll refer others like them,
and, may eventually turn themselves into core-service clients.
Here's one more example: turn how
you work with clients into a series of steps (very simple to do because
I bet you're already taking clients through steps now) then train
a colleague or apprentice how to deliver the starter steps. Clients
can either stop there, or continue on with you personally for your
core service. They're getting what they want and you're getting clients
who are polished, primed, and ready to go with your more advanced
solutions. Everybody wins!
Step #3 Create crystal clear "who
this is right for" criteria for each service you offer
When you're clear about precisely who
each of your services is right for your clients will naturally self-select
into the right solution for them. You look like a genius because you've
made it so easy for your clients to purchase the right service. They
feel smart because they made the right choice.
Once you put these steps into place (and remember,
the first one you can do today. It's to decide!) you'll need to have
a conversation with existing clients to help them transition into
the new option. Keep the conversation short and focused on them.
Tell them how much you've enjoyed working with them.
Tell them how important it is to be able to help other people like
them who were in their same situation. Then share with them how to
make that possible, you've created new options for them to choose
from. Make one of those options the opportunity to step up to your
core service, and offer your new offers for them to choose from as