How Entrepreneurs and Business Owners Can Discern an Ideal Client

If you’ve been in business for longer than one day, this has undoubtedly happened to you:  You signed up a client that actually ended up being a nightmare.  You know what I mean; their payments don’t go through, they don’t do the work, which means that they don’t get the results, they keep wanting another handout or discount because they know you well and they don’t see the value of investing in your products and services,  and more importantly, themselves.

Sounds all too familiar, right?  Especially if you’re working B to B in the Entrepreneurial marketplace.  With 89.70% of non employer entities as classified by the US Small Business Administration in 2011 not earning greater than $100,000 a year, it’s easy to understand why they can’t afford to pay you on time.  And I’m sorry to tell you that if that’s who you are serving, you are playing right into Pookie’s hand.

Pookie is any person – male or female, who is a non ideal client for you.  Period.  ( I know that there’s a strong resemblance to the New Jack City character that Chris Rock played in the movie, but that’s not the Pookie I’m referring to here.)  And, with the widespread presence of social media, Pookie is everywhere masquerading as your next big success story. Don’t believe the hype. Instead, ensure that you are talking to your most ideal clients only.

In this week’s episode of Incredible Factor TV, I’m taking Pookie head on as I answer Kyna’s question.

“At the Unleash Your Incredible Factor conference and on several of your videos, you spoke about Pookie quite often. The client that you have to push and pull to do the work, that doesn’t pay or always wants a discount, shows up for sessions infrequently, and they just become a pain to work with. How do you get rid of Pookie even though you know they need help?”

Watch my response to Kyna’s question here:

As I mentioned in the video, I want to start by providing you a template for an ideal client. This checklist was designed to help you to get clear on whom you should work with and work to attract consistently.

Focus on prospects who:

  • Are decisive
  • Take responsibility for their actions
  • Are ambitious
  • Are ready to invest in themselves
  • Refrain from placing blame on others or the economy
  • Are clear about the results they desire to achieve
  • Are clear about the problem they have to be solved
  • Are willing to be/get uncomfortable in order to welcome growth into their life
  • Are honest
  • Operate in integrity
  • Are low to no drama
  • Make payments on time
  • Make plans not excuses
  • Have a history of investing in professional services
  • Are a joy to work with
  • Respect your time
  • Bring out the best in you
  • Ask for what they want
  • Speak up when not getting what they need
  • Collaborate to find solutions
  • Trust you
  • Are willing to do things differently to get results

Avoid potential clients who:

  • Make excuses
  • Blame others
  • Talk about being a victim of circumstance
  • Ask for special payment arrangements
  • Have lived with the problem they want solved for a long time without progress
  • Complain of not having money

If you are still being plagued by Pookie, it could be for one of the following reasons:

1. You have a message-to-market disconnect.  When your message is consistently attracting people who can’t hire you or don’t hire you when they can, there’s a problem with your message.  If you aren’t closing deals, it’s what you’re saying or not saying during your sales conversation that is the culprit.  Trust me, if you’re talking to your ideal clients, while you won’t close them all (if you do, you’re not charging enough) you will close more than you don’t. It can take a while to get your message tight.  I recommend looking at an older blog post about your messaging to get some guidance there – or better yet, consider my Magnetic Marketing Success Formula.

2. You’re not charging enough to be considered an expert by your ideal clients.  That’s right, I know that Kyna’s question was how to get rid of them when they need help, right?  The answer is simple.  You can’t help everyone and you’re in business to earn a profit.  That’s what we do, we solve problems for profit.  Sadly, most consumers buy into the adage “you get what you pay for,”  so if you are claiming to have this amazing solution to their problem but it’s easily accessible to get it – they will assume that your solution can’t be all that.  After all, if they can easily afford it, wouldn’t they already have it?  Your job must be to REQUIRE more of your clients and respect your work MORE.  The value your solution offers is perceived by your ideal clients based on the price you assign.  Too low, they will go hire someone else who costs at least double (who may not be better by the way.)  Higher, they will likely find a way to afford you after the sticker shock wears off.  But you are valuable and what you do can’t be done by others – believe it.  Stand in it.   Trust it.

Now I want to hear from you, what’s your two cents?:  Have you successfully gotten away from working with non-ideal clients?  What advice do you have for Kyna and others in the Incredible Factor community?

©2014 by Darnyelle A. Jervey. All Rights Reserved. Darnyelle A. Jervey, MBA, The Incredible Factor Business Optimization Coach and Mentor, is the founder of Incredible One Enterprises®, Incredible Factor University® and the Leverage Your Incredible Factor System®, a proven step-by-step program so you experience financial and spiritual abundance in your life because of your business. For more information and a FREE audio CD “7 Critical Mistakes Even Smart Entrepreneurs Must Avoid for Clients, Connection and Cash Flow!” just fill out the form below.

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