Growing a business is challenging. As a small business, you may be tempted to capture as many customers as possible, regardless of whether they match your Ideal Customer profile. Not only might you waste a lot of money marketing to people who will likely never be interested in product or service, failing to turn away some customers can spell trouble for your revenue, profitability, and business’ survival. This is especially true if what you are selling is based on a personal brand. Suppose your product line is mainly boutique retail, live events, workshops, courses, retreats, or coaching programs. In that case, you need to pay particular attention to the persona of the clients you’re wooing and accepting as clients.
As a business leader, it does not usually make sense to walk away from clients. When you have clients, you have you are generating revenue. Sometimes, though, it is better to cut ties with a client than keep working with them. Whether they drain your time and energy or bring you constant stress, some clients are simply not worth the trouble.
If you have to offer a significant price reduction on your products and services just to get the order, the customer may not be worth it. Consider your profit margins and the value of what you are delivering.
Are one-time sales worth it? Especially if you are a service provider. Remember that one-time sales should never trump a long-term customer relationship. You should never sell a product or service that does not solve the customer’s problem.
It would help if you recognized whether you could solve our potential client’s problems. A sure sign you should walk away from a client is when you cannot deliver on your promise. If you do not have the resources, capacity, or experience to do what you say you will do, do not try to fool the client. You are better off not closing the deal. This is an ideal place for you to make a referral to someone who can better serve their needs, and they will remember your integrity.
Sometimes make unreasonable demands. They are impossible to please. If you work with someone who is perpetually demanding and expects special treatment, you probably will not ever make them happy, and they are likely not worth the trouble.
Other times, you may have clients you do not like working with. Whether they are mean or disrespectful, if you dread having to work with a client, you should probably cut ties. But remember not to take their attitude and behavior personally.
There will be some needy clients who want an unreasonable amount of your time. If your high-maintenance customers distract you from your other valuable clients, you may want to reconsider the relationship. You do not want your other customers to feel neglected and end up losing their business.
Some clients are bullies. When customers want to show who is in charge, they may try to take advantage of you or nickel-and-dime you. This behavior can drain your bottom line, your creativity, and your energy.
Ultimately, you should not take on all clients. Just because someone wants to work with you does not make them a natural fit for your products and services. When you try to be all things to all people, you set yourself up for mediocrity instead of being exceptional.
Concentrate on your differentiator. Focus on clients that you enjoy, and that share the same values as you–and thrive.
If this resonates with you, but perhaps you’re unsure of where to begin, we can help! Try a free strategy session with our coaching department.