Working with certain clients is a pure joy. You get along with them personally, they are easy to work with and they seem to make you look better than you are. These clients are usually more profitable for you.
Other clients are a complete nightmare. They may be mean, unreasonable or irrational. They prevent you from delivering great results and get in your way, even if they don’t intend to. It’s impossible to do a great job for them.
No more nightmares
The only way to find more of the former is to get very clear on two things: who you are and who they are.
1. Define who you are and identify your unique strengths
Everyone has a specific set of values and worldview. It is important to accept this as truth, as part of who you are, and realize that you will naturally attract some people and repel others. You will get the best results for those with whom you share the same value system.
You also need to be honest about how you can best help clients. You aren’t good at everything and it helps everyone when you accept projects where you can excel and discard those where you cannot. This requires you to suppress your ego and turn away business when it doesn’t fit.
2. Define who you serve and be willing to stick with it
What does your ideal client look like? You can pick a set of criteria based on revenue, employees, industry, end markets, company structure or phase of growth, but you have to choose. Assuming everyone is a potential client means you will never really become an expert in a given area.
Some professionals, whether out of fear or greed, don’t want to decide on these two things because they feel it limits their opportunity. I don’t see it this way at all.
I would rather be the provider of choice for a smaller universe of clients and prospects. I would rather spend more time with fewer clients and know that I can deliver great results to them. It is not limiting, it just means you have more market share within a specified universe of clients. It is with those clients, you can perform better, be more profitable and get more enjoyment out of the work you do.
- Article: The Chameleon
- Article: Three Questions To Ask Your Marketing Team (Seth Godin)
- Article: The Better Way To Choose a Target Market (Michael Port)
- Article: Focus on The Right Targets (Anthony Iannarino)
- Article: Listening Builds Trust and Businesses
- Article: Your Whole Self
- Podcast: How To Stay Focused
- Podcast: You Mean No Harm, But Your Core Values Are A Lie
- Podcast: Advise Less, Coach More, Grow Your Business
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