As a business owner, you want to be in control. In control of your overall vision, your marketing plan, your team and your finances. But are you in control of who your clients are? If you’re constantly saying yes to any project that comes your way – even if you’re not excited about it – then you’re letting others be in charge of your business development.
Do you choose your clients or do your clients choose you?
Why Choose Your Clients?
There are several reasons why you should choose your clients. This might include the amount of business volume they can provide and the ability to build a long-term relationship with them. But, ultimately the main reason why a business chooses their clients is because they genuinely enjoy working with them.
It’s with authentic buy-in or genuine support for our client and their message that we can produce our best work and offer our best services. Working with a client that you intentionally chose to work with ends up being a rewarding and energizing experience. It creates a positive experience for both you and the customer.
Why It’s Important to Say No
We’ve all been faced with the decision to take on work from a client we weren’t thrilled about working with. And it’s usually because we’ve had bills to pay or other circumstances that led us to say yes when we should have said no.
Saying yes to take on a client you’re not excited about isn’t a healthy way to do business. It isn’t fair to the client and it isn’t fair to yourself. And above all else, taking on clients that don’t energize you isn’t sustainable.
Over time, the more you work with clients who don’t align with your own message or beliefs will ultimately hurt your brand. You will begin to lose the spark that propels your business forward. The health and vitality of your product or service will dwindle.
Learning to say no to clients who aren’t a good fit is a valuable skill to develop for the long-term success of your brand. Sure, it may not fill your immediate cash flow needs. But it’s the right thing to do in order to fuel your passion and continue to be fulfilled by your business.
Maintain the Integrity of Your Interactions and Work
An often overlooked aspect of customer relations and business development is our passion. As customer service oriented people, we rightfully focus on their needs and how we can best fulfill them.
But what about our own passions? Our own passion and desire must be a factor in our customer relations. This is what will keep us going when things go awry, which they inevitably will at some point. If you can’t share the same passions with your clients, then what’s the point? It’s far better to seek out clients who align with your purpose and motivate you to deliver your best work.
By choosing the clients we work with, we continue to demonstrate a dedication to our own business offering and message. We develop the integrity to practice when to say yes and when to say no.
Attracting Clients You Want to Work With
This mindset shift that you can choose your clients will initially require some hustle and some patience. If you’re deciding to say no to clients who don’t align with you, then be prepared to do the work that’s required to attract clients who do. That’s hustle.
There will be a period of time where it feels like you aren’t serving as many people as you can. This is where you’ll need to exercise patience.
Here are 5 tips to help you get into the mindset and practice of attracting and choosing your clients:
1. Ask for Referrals from Clients You Love
Asking for referrals is one of the easiest ways to start attracting and choosing your own clients. Approach current or past customers who you loved working with. These customers should easily stand out in your mind because they gave you energy and drive.
Let them know how much you loved working with them. Highlight a specific moment or accomplishment that stands out clearly in your mind as to why you felt fulfilled by working with them.
Then ask them if they know of any other like-minded people or businesses who would be a good fit for your services. Chances are your client will be able to think of someone immediately. If not now, then your client may have future referrals for you.
2. Have Well Defined Ideal Clients
If you want to start attracting more engaging and exciting customers, then you need to have an ideal customer profile. This is a description of who your ideal client is.
Some things you’ll want to describe are:
- What is this client’s message?
- Where are they located?
- What expectations do they have?
- How do they like to communicate?
- How open are they to feedback?
- What kinds of specific services or projects would you do for them?
- How does it make you feel when you work with them?
By creating an ideal customer profile you can begin to attract these types of customers into your network.
Remember, you cannot attract what you haven’t defined. So make sure you know exactly who it is you love to work with.
3. Research and Go After Them
Once you’ve defined your ideal customer, you can then begin the process of finding them. Start conducting research. Look for people you think you’d want to work with. Read their story, get to know their message and investigate the work they’re doing.
I’ve found the best way to do this is through social media; specifically Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. These profiles will show you what has been important to them recently, as well as what they accomplished or worked on in the past.
Once you’ve generated a list of potential ideal customers, it’s time to go after them. Contact them using the platform you’ve noticed they are most active on. If they post frequently on Facebook or Twitter, then private message them there.
If it’s a business you want to work with, then comment on their blog or subscribe to their newsletter before sending them an email. Get on their radar.
4. Be Honest
In a world full of superficial Instagram posts and sleazy get rich quick schemes, it’s refreshing when someone approaches you from an authentic and honest standpoint. Tell your potential ideal client about how you came across them. Let them know that you’ve noticed what they are doing and why you’re interested in their work.
Be honest about why you’re approaching them. Let them know that you choose your clients. That you only work with people who align with your own passions and beliefs. And finally, ask them if they’d be willing to have a call to find out if it’s a right fit.
5. Always Go the Extra Mile
The most powerful way to choose your clients and attract ones you want to work with is to be someone who they want to work with in return. This means going the extra mile for them. When you start working with new customers, set expectations that you know you can beat every time. Commit to delivering your best work and maintaining that throughout your working relationship.
By going the extra mile and consistently delivering more value, you’re demonstrating your gratitude and appreciation for the opportunity to work with them.
If you can blow your customers away by going above and beyond, you’ll see it come back to you in the way of new customers who meet your ideal profile. Over time, you’ll start to find that you’ll naturally attract the right types of clients who energize you and make you feel fulfilled.
Do you choose your clients? What ways have you attracted ideal clients to your business? Let me know in the comments below.