It’s easy to feel the need to take any client willing to give you money.
Trust me, I’ve been there far too many times.
And when you’re struggling to grow your business, you tend to feel like being selective of your clients is a luxury you can’t afford.
So you put it on the back burner.
But you can’t afford to skip this step… because it will come back to haunt you.
It will slow your growth.
It will make working with some clients painful.
And when they leave unexpectedly, you can’t help but feel the frustration.
Recently, I went through this exact situation.
Sadly, it wasn’t my first rodeo. And despite knowing better, I haven’t done much to prevent it from happening again.
I picked up a new client a few months ago, and they really seemed to buy in to our approach.
I’ve built my business on long-term relationships, which means for most clients – I spend a lot of time/money up front, because I know that most clients will stick with me.
I provide a great product, get good results and I’m always happy to help… why would anyone leave? (am I right?)
Unfortunately, my client handed over the reigns to their business partner… who I hadn’t dealt with before.
The new business partner was seriously a great guy, but I quickly realized that he started wanting to do things that completely undermined a lot of the work that had been done.
I’d try to explain the reasoning, but try not to push too hard – my job is to advise my clients, not to control their decisions. It’s their business, and I’m happy to help.
In his mind, I’m sure he was trying to accomplish something good – he just didn’t realize there was an existing strategy that had already been implemented.
After 4 months, the client lets me know they had a great experience, appreciated working with me, loved the site… but they’re shutting it down because they had another site included with another service.
Yep. The first owner saw the value, but since the 2nd owner never bought in – my service turned into a commodity that could be replaced.
Whose fault is that? Mine.
And who’s left to pay for that mistake? Me.
The problem is that I never fully indoctrinated the RIGHT person.
That person never bought into our message, and didn’t have the same kind of value for what we do.
They were never given the opportunity to buy in… I just assumed that if one partner bought in, so did the other.
It’s not always the person that pays the bill that you have to get to buy in… sometimes it’s the person you’ll be working with day-in and day-out.
And I failed to provide that partner the opportunity.
Why does this matter?
A product/service can be viewed in 2 completely different ways.
Let’s use a typical gym as an example.
- A Commodity – If you think that all gyms are the same, then you’re going to choose based on convenience… whichever gym is cheapest or closest. And if you’re a gym in that market, and you look like a commodity – then you’ll ultimately get treated like one.Yet, i’m sure you’ve experienced a prospect that comes in, thinks your prices are too high, only to find out later that they ended up going to a competitor and spending double that amount each month?
What happened? That gym showed how they weren’t a commodity.
So what were they exactly?
- A Specific Solution – Once you find a gym that understands your struggles, and has proven success helping people like you, and everything they say seems to feel like they’re entire marketing is talking to you directly… then that gym becomes incredibly valuable.Their message resonates with you.
You’re certain they can help you through your struggles to reach your goals.
And you’re willing to pay for it.
What happened? That gym no longer had to compete with competitors… because the gym positioned themselves so that anyone that resonated with their messaging would realize that no one else was actually competing.
They became the perfect solution for certain people.
How did this cost me?
Well, for starters, since I invest in my clients on the front-end, I lost out on my financial investment. Ouch.
I also lost out on that time.
For everything you say yes to, you’re also saying no to another opportunity.
I could have spent that time working on a better intake process.
I could have invested more in clients that buy in to my messaging.
Both of those things would have made my company more appealing to the right kinds of clients (and less appealing to the wrong kinds of clients).
And what happens when you provide the right products and services to people that value them?
They keep doing business with you.
They may even rave about you, and refer their friends.
But mostly, you’ll get joy from knowing you helped someone that has an appreciation for what you offer.
And as for me – that’s why I started my business.