Choose Your Clients

CPC Business Development

By Stephanie Clark.

Living in the country means getting used to bugs. With the Saugeen River close by, last summer I shared my space with countless varieties of flying insects including mosquitoes. I’m not sure what unknown quality I possess, but I am mercifully spared most mosquito bites – unfortunately, my husband is not. They swarm his face and neck and drive us home, or at least out of the woods.

Rejection can be a blessing! And it is so with clients as well. Not every contact, referral, or inquiry should be seen as one’s next client. Just as career counsellors would admonish clients to choose potential employers wisely, we should also choose our clients with care.

Defining your ideal client launches a successful marketing and business strategy. You can define clients by age, occupation, sector, or even by personality. I prefer working with nice people, ones who are reasonable and polite. I prefer clients who value their careers, as well as my writing and credentials.

Attracting this ideal client contributes to congenial working relationships, friendly interchanges, and results in their referring similarly-minded friends. Attempting to attract everyone often leads to frustration resulting from different terms of reference, discrepancies in expectations, and a disconnect in communication styles. It can lead to a decrease in business and a poor reputation.

I am blessed with wonderful clients. I am grateful for their business, appreciate their confidence in my abilities, and do all I can to exceed their expectations. As for the others – who call for information and never call back – the fit simply wasn’t there, and that’s fine. After all, we are a large community of service providers, each with individual strengths and looking for diverse challenges. There is enough business to go around and my less-than-ideal client could be perfect for you, and vice versa.

Without a doubt, rejection can be seen as a blessing. Embrace this concept and reap business rewards.

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Stephanie, when you sense that a potential client isn’t a good fit for you, is there a nice way to tell them? This can be difficult, especially if you don’t have another service provider to refer them to.

Hi Janet,
Great question and I’m working on a new blog post to reply to your question. You hit the nail on the head that you want to balance being nice with being firm, a skill that takes some thought and practice. Look for a reply in today’s blog. Thanks for the question/idea! Stephanie