Making the decision whether or not to accept new clients can sometimes be daunting. The first instinct of many business owners, especially when first starting out, is to take on every Tom, Dick, and Harry who comes along. You want a lot of business, and a lot of business means a lot of money, right? Not necessarily. It’s extremely easy to overextend yourself in a relatively short period of time.
This is where a checklist of what you do and don’t want in a client would come in handy. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. There are, however, quite a few tips that you should keep in mind when making that crucial decision to accept and work with new clients.
Sometimes, accepting new clients can almost be like going on a blind date. They may seem like a nice catch, present themselves well, maybe even have good references, but once you get to know them you realize you have less and less in common and the evening not only goes stale, it begins to go downhill.
This is where you need to sit down and ask yourself, “Is this going to be a good match?” Try to walk through what the client’s expectations are and what your abilities are and see how well one can satisfy the other. If your date expects a lobster dinner but all you can afford is a burger and fries, chances are there won’t be a second date.
You also need to consider if you really have enough time for this new client. Does your current schedule afford you the time it takes to commit to this new relationship? Or will there be a strain on yourself or your business? The last thing you want is a temporarily satisfied customer who soon begins to complain that you never buy them flowers anymore. “Why haven’t you called recently? I’ve been up all night worried sick!”
Check your schedule twice before taking on more than you can chew. Sure, you need to be as accommodating and accessible as possible, but not to the point that it will put a potential strain on any client relationships that you may already have.
Is this the type of project you enjoy doing? Do you believe in what they’re selling? Make sure this isn’t going to be one of those relationships that becomes drudgery. If you have to drag yourself out of bed in the morning and force yourself to spend time working with this client, then do you really want to put yourself through that?
People work best if they’re happy with what they’re doing and with whom they’re working. I’m not saying it has to be love at first sight, but blind dates are definitely spent comparing notes, right? If you don’t have the same values or ethics as your client, chances are you’re going to butt heads.
Once you’ve asked yourself these few questions about a potential client, think of more traits and qualities you feel are important. When it comes down to it, don’t just settle. Potentially having to turn someone down may seem unnerving at first, but in the end, waiting for the right client can definitely be the right thing to do and can ultimately increase your bottom line.
Have something to add to our checklist? Share below.
This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Download a free copy of the PR Checklist – a 24 point list of Press Release Dos and Don’ts here: http://www.ereleases.com/prchecklist.html