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How to Get the Best Clients

Last updated February 12, 2021
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Do you know the clients you don’t want in your business?

If you don’t then you should. There are ‘time-robbers’ everywhere and at the top of the list are unsuitable clients and customers.

Let me tell you a story… My thanks to Steve Duran who wrote the article.....

One woman who frequently flew on Southwest Airlines, was constantly disappointed with every aspect of the company’s operation. In fact, she became known as the “Pen Pal” because after every flight she wrote in with a complaint.

She didn’t like the fact that the company didn’t assign seats; she didn’t like the absence of a first-class section; she didn’t like not having a meal in flight; she didn’t like Southwest’s boarding procedure; she didn’t like the flight attendants’ sporty uniforms and the casual atmosphere.

Her last letter, reciting a litany of complaints, momentarily stumped Southwest’s customer relations people. They bumped it up to Herb’s [Kelleher, CEO of Southwest] desk, with a note: ‘This one’s yours.’

In sixty seconds, Kelleher wrote back and said, ‘Dear Mrs. Crabapple, We will miss you. Love, Herb.’

Your time is precious so any that you waste on the wrong clients is expensive, un-profitable, effort sapping, time wasting, and quiet frankly stressful, frustrating and is not why your company exists.

Any client is a good client, or is it?

We know without paying clients you don’t have a business, but you must attract the right customers and stop the wrong customers taking up any of your or your team’s valuable time.

In the early days, any client is a good one: a chance to test out your offer, product, service, back office systems & processes. But learn what you can as quickly as possible because soon some of those early clients will morph into time robbers and energy sappers.

I guarantee that 10% - 15% of your clients don’t earn you any money (or profit), instead they cost you money.

The quickest way to sort great, good and bad clients is to run a client list. Print it off. Get 3 pens in different colours....

  • Green pens to highlight the great ones, those you want to clone.
  • Blue pens to highlight good solid clients to keep.
  • Red pens to highlight bad apples who need to exit.

But I can’t afford to lose the income!

I've heard this reply on many occasions. My response is Why do you want to work for nothing? When my practice was 2 years old, I was stressed, frustrated and it was all due to a few rubbish clients.

I love to do the best job I can. But when trying to satisfy rubbish clients, I quickly became a victim. They thought it was OK…

  • To delay payments that I had to spend time chasing
  • To call out of hours because it suited them, not me
  • To add ‘just-jobs’ and not expect additional fees, pushing boundaries
  • To drive prices down to unrealistic levels
  • To be rude & demanding, almost a bully.


I wasn’t doing my very best for my very best clients because the rubbish clients kept distracting me. They just had to go….

But how?

I planned exactly how I would exit them and 6 weeks later they had all gone. It was professional, firm and fair. This blog Time to Change the Sofa will explain the steps one by one.

The End Result

Relief, breathing space, de-stressed and calm. I re-engaged with my best clients and set about cloning them. I wanted more of my very best clients. I thought of them when I wrote my ‘Who is my perfect client’ list.

I had capacity for 3 new super cloned clients but I needed to make sure I avoided attracting the bad apples. To stop me making a mistake I wrote another list ‘Types of clients I don’t want in my business’.

Now I have a crystal-clear picture of my perfect client. Life is too short to spend time with those clients that drain the life out of you. Make the decision now to work with fantastic clients from now on.

Life will get better.

What tactics do you use to makes sure you are working with the right clients?

Shirley Mansfield
Master Business Problem Solver

When you’re ready here are three ways I can help you build your business:

1. Follow me on X / LinkedIn and let me know the business challenges keeping you awake at night that you want to solve. Click here to email. Connect with me, The Business Planning Coach on Facebook and Instagram.

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3. Work with me on your growth business to overcome the blockages, hurdles & problems that are holding you back. Join the community, email me with Let’s Get Started in the subject line or book a 30 Discovery Meeting using Calendly


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