I’m sure I’m not the first marketing teacher to tell you that you need to be abundantly clear about who you want to work with so my question is: ARE you abundantly clear about who you want to work with?
Most business people just won’t take the time to figure this out. They think it’s hard to know this because they’re looking outside for the answer.
The key to this is in knowing the kind of client you “want” to work with. Yes, you get to decide. And its as easy as saying, “I want this.”
Many years ago I put the word out that I was looking for some new clients and got a referral for a guy that was publishing a new magazine. At first we seemed like a perfect fit for each other. The project was something I was enthusiastic about, I was eager for him to succeed and for me to be a part of that, but I soon came to realize that this particular client drove me crazy.
Week after week I came to dread our time together and I did not enjoy doing any work for him. Eventually I had to “fire” him. I just couldn’t take it any more and the money was not worth it.
After that I got very clear about who I wanted to work with and you can do the same.
First, it may be easier for you to think in terms of all the qualities that you really dislike in a client.
Make a list of all of those things that make you crazy. Some things on your list might be some of the same ones that are mine:
Clients who are late for appointments.
Clients who don’t pay me on time.
Clients who look over my shoulder while I’m working.
Clients who don’t have the money to pay my fees.
Clients who are not open to new ideas.
Clients who always feel like victims.
Then, turn those statements around and ask yourself, “so, what do I want in a client?”
Your new list might look like this:
I want clients who are on time for their appointments.
I want clients who always pay my invoices in 10 days.
I want clients who trust me to do good work for them.
I want clients who have plenty of money to pay me without creating hardship for themselves.
I want clients who are open to new ideas and learning new things.
I want clients who embrace life and love what is.
You can also be very specific:
I want clients who are female, 45 to 60 years old.
I want clients who are starting a new business.
I want clients who are looking to increase their sales by 50% or more.
Are you getting the idea? The takeaway here is that YOU get to decide exactly kind of client you want to serve. When they show up, you can embrace them and get to work. When those that don’t fit you show up — and they always will — you can gently let them go to someone else who can serve them better. See a related post about that here.
It makes life so much easier, so much more joyful, and that makes everybody happy.
SIDE NOTE: Want to really know who your ideal client is? Take a look in the mirror. Most of us want to work with clients who are a lot like us. They share our values and our ideals and want to accomplish many of the same things in their lives that we want for ours.
So, what does your ideal client look like?© Copyright 2009 Marty Marsh