Choose your clients wisely as they determine much about your business. A well chosen client will appreciate and benefit from a business’s services far more than a client that is poorly matched. For example, a happy client will look something like this cat:
This blog post is not about developing the correct products, systems and infrastructure that are needed to attract and retain the ideal client. It is about how to choose the correct clients that accurately match your business offerings and structure.
During our first year in business Unleashed did not know the meaning of, ‘No’. Hate your website- we’ll build you a new one. Oh, you need a shopping cart – no problem. Sure, we can host the website for you. We would love to build you an App. Of course we will also handle all of your SEO and online advertising. You want that done by the end of the day and you can’t pay us until the end of the year- sure thing! Did I mention ‘we’ really meant Chris, our Founder. He was trying to do everything for everyone thinking that was the best (well, only) strategy for keeping the doors open.
Suffice it to say, Chris went a bit crazy and to be honest so did the business. It was unfocused and bloated with projects that were doing nothing to increase the bottom line. Clients were frustrated, Chris was burning out, but what if we say ‘No!’ and we lose a project and the funds we really needed to move the business forward.
Luckily we have learned the error of our ways. Through a sometimes perilous journey we have found that instead of being all things for all people, we should be the RIGHT thing for the RIGHT people. This makes everyone happy. The clients receive the best results because the business can confidently offer its best.
5 years later, Unleashed does not do web design or SEO, as we found that it wasn’t our strength. We cater specifically and exclusively to agencies. We only offer hand-optimized online campaigns with programmatic real-time bidding and our team takes on only those clients that correctly fit our business model.
Here are some guidelines we follow and that may help your business grow and thrive:
1. Be Focused – A laser focused business model increases value to customers. Instead of offering everything, offer what you do best and focus consistently on making it better. Revisit your goals often and make sure the entire team shares and can complete the vision.
2. Be Honest – Don’t promise a client something you can’t provide. It might close the short term sale but you can pretty much guarantee the client won’t stick around for the long term if you can’t deliver results. Often, the most helpful thing you can do is refer somebody to the best resources for their needs.
3. Be Kind – Being choosy and exclusive doesn’t mean being rude. Even if you can’t help a prospective client, always be kind. I make an effort to personally respond to every new business inquiry. They made an effort to reach out and I can provide them with the same or greater level of respect.
4. Be Smart- Work to be the smartest person in the room. Know your stuff and be able to speak on it from a moments notice. You will gain clients as they see your expertise but you will also retain clients with your ability to be on the cutting edge and out in front of trends. One of the advantages of being focused is that it makes becoming an expert in a narrow field much more attainable.
Want to read more? Check out this blog by MJ Gottlieb.