how to find clients (good ones, anyway)
How to find clients is the most important question you want to get answered, when you’re running a business.
See, when you first get started in business, you’ll pretty much work with anyone who has a pulse. You’ll say “Yes,” to basically anyone who’s willing to give you a shot at earning some money.
But at some point… you have to develop some criteria for who’s a fit to work with you, and who’s not.
In other words, after a while… “how to find clients” as your most important question, should be replaced with “how to find good clients.”
Here are a few of the criteria I use — hopefully this will give you some good ideas to work with, and allow you to create better filters for your client acceptance practices.
1. The client should have a business (if you are in a B2B setting), or a philosophy of life, YOU respect.
It is simply impossible for you to help someone who repulses you — no matter how much money you’re getting paid for it.
And by the way, this is YOUR call. Doesn’t matter if your wife or your best friend or whoever, doesn’t agree with you. You’re the one who’s doing all the sweating, so the only opinion that matters is yours.
2. You shouldn’t accept a client unless you genuinely feel their life will be better after working with you, than it is right now.
In other words, if you KNOW you can’t help a client out… don’t take them on. Or at least, let them know this up-front.
This way… if you let them know and they still want to hire you, you can give them 100% without having any kind of a guilty conscience. You can focus on the effort, and not the result.
3. If a client has been having ongoing problems in whatever area of expertise you have… regardless of who they were working with before you… you’d better find out why.
In some cases, if the problem is a chronic one… you might not be able to fix it, because of some underlying issues that have nothing to do with your expertise.
And, in other cases… the root of the problems are so dysfunctional… NO amount of money could be worth it, for all the trouble it’s going to cause you to try and make things right.
4. Can the client afford to pay you what it’s going to cost, to fix the problem?
And are they aware of, and OK with, exactly what these costs will be?
And even more important… what is their track record in this area?
There’s a huge difference between “billing” someone a shit-ton of money… and collecting it. Collections should be your focus, not billings.
5. Can you get along with your client?
Are you willing to accept some of their flaws, or are these flaws so great they will interfere with the nature of your relationship.
For instance, there are some people I simply won’t work with:
Control freaks, bullies, or people who insist on telling me how to do my job.
And don’t get me wrong – there’s no confrontation involved in this. It’s more like… “We’re probably not a fit, but I hope you find someone who can help you.”
It’s not that I’m closed to new ideas… but it would be as ridiculous for someone to tell me how to create an advertising and marketing campaign, as it would be for you to tell your oncologist which chemo cocktail to use, to rid your body of some kind of particular cancer cells in it.
Remember, YOU are the expert — so act like one.
Believe it or not, clients will actually take comfort in a higher level of confidence. When service professionals are tentative, it’s scary and you question their competency.
There are a few other things involved, but they are more intangible. Like, will our schedules be compatible… will my boundaries be respected… and, are they willing to share all the information I need, so I can perform at a high-level.
Now your criteria may be totally different from mine. In fact, it may be completely opposite. But the point is… having criteria is how you define who gets in and who gets locked out. And, it also determines how your business is going to look, 3 5, and 10 years down the road.
It’s important to have guidelines when it comes to “how to find clients.” Because when YOU are determining how to find clients, rather than letting nature, or even worse — letting outsiders dictate who you should be working with — chances are outstanding:
– Your business will experience more growth…
– It will be the kind of growth you enjoy, and look forward to…
– It will be much easier for you to be proud of what you’ve created…
And life, in general, will be a LOT less stressful and anxiety-riddled.
Let’s face it — running a business isn’t easy, and to do it right, takes a HUGE commitment.
And the energy to pursue this commitment, and to experience the journey… is going to be a lot easier to put forth, when the clients you’re serving are the ones you want to serve.
I can tell you from experience and from making a lot of mistakes in this area… that good energetic chemistry makes all the difference in the world, in the quality of your life and in how relaxed you’re feeling.
Now go sell something, Craig Garber
How To Make Maximum Money With Minimum Customers – LIFETIME Guarantee Included
How To Make Maximum Money With Minimum Customers – Amazon.com
listening to: Franklin’s Tower – Grateful Dead, Live @ Broome County Arena (Binghamton, NY) (1983)