This article first appeared on evancarmichael.com
Clients are a lot like pants.
- Some seem fine in the store then end up constantly rubbing you the wrong way until you can’t wait to tear them off.
- Some require a lot of fussing and tugging—and never stay comfortable for long.
- Many fit fine, there’s just nothing particularly special about them.
- And then there are your favorite pants…a few pairs that seem to be tailor-made just for you. And you can’t wait to put them on because you know both of you will end up looking good.
Getting dressed would be so much easier if you had a closet full of your favorite pants…and so would your business.
The trick is finding out who those perfect-fit clients are. Here’s one simple process for doing it:
- Print out your client list—-everyone who has actually hired you to work with them–past and present.
- Rate your clients–using A, B, C or 1, 2, 3 or will things fairly simple. Then jot down a few positives and negatives that immediately come to mind by the client’s name. Consider things like:
- Were they easy to work with?
- Did they know what they wanted from the start, or did they change their mind a lot?
- Were they knowledgeable or need a lot of educating?
- Did you look forward to doing the actual work? Why or why not?
- Were they enthusiastic about your work?
- Did they follow-through (if relevant) and implement?
- Did they get good results?
- Did you work with one person? A team?
- Did they balk at your estimate? Pay promptly?
- Did they volunteer a testimonial or refer others to you?
- Are there ongoing opportunities to work with them? Or just a one-off project?
- Would you be excited or reluctant if they called today and had more work for you?
3. Pick your ideal client. If none of your clients really get you jazzed then think about who you would LOVE to work with. Pick a specific person you know of and jot down all the reasons why.Now analyze your notes. What consistently came up in the negative or positive columns? Overall, which projects and clients did you like the best? Why?
Which of those traits could be easily found in others? Do people in their industry or profession need (and want) your services? Or people with similar life experiences (e.g. working moms, people nearing retirement or who practice yoga)?
Finally, once you’ve identified some concrete traits to look for, then get busy finding more clients just like them…and soon you’ll be looking at a closet full of clients that are tailor-made for you.
How to Find Clients Who are TailorMade for You – To learn more about this author, visit Tracy Needham’s Website.
Photo courtesy of mybusinesstips.org