When anyone starts a business it’s tempting to take on every client that comes your way. It doesn’t matter whether or not they are ideal or a money making client. We just celebrate winning clients in those early days but many of them will end up costing you a lot of money to deal with in the future.
Just take a moment to think about
We all have one or more of these clients. They drain the life out of you, chew up your valuable resources and most importantly stop you focusing on finding, and working with your most important, best and top inspiring clients. So how do you make the step change in your business? Sack the bad ones, professionally of course.
But I hear you say, "I can't afford to lose the income". I say that you can't afford to keep them, they cost you money every day and stop you from making more money from better clients.
In Mike Michalowicz’s book The Pumpkin Plan, (a great read by the way!) he talks about clearing out the bad clients and how to focus on getting more of your top clients.
You need to get real and take a critical look at all of your clients. How? Well, making a list in descending order of revenue is a good starting point in Mike’s book The Pumpkin Plan he has a great assessment chart.
Now rule up some columns, perhaps the six I have listed above and rank the clients. Make sure you have a red pen to cross through the ones that you are going to sack and a green pen for those that you are going to nurture. It's not a black and white exercise and you'll have some "not sure about", but that's okay.
Get rid of the bad ones first, professionally, and then reassess the ‘not sures’ and make time to talk to them. Have the difficult conversation and try an improvement plan with them. If they don't like it they will make the decision for you. If they do they will become better clients. But keep them under review – one action is not sufficient.
Now with the extra time and resources on your hands go and find the right clients and put a smile on your face in search of a frown!
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