Have you ever checked caller-id and cringed? Remember, you are in control. Even in today’s economy, a checkbook and pulse do not a client make…. You do get to choose who you work with.
“Everybody and Anybody” are not target markets. There are people that energize and inspire us and those that don’t. Why risk your reputation and sanity working for someone that you cannot do your best work with. So how can you tell before you start work?
Ask to see the potential red flags
Ask open-ended questions. Open-ended questions are those that cannot be answered with a yes or no, such as:
–Tell me about a past job(s)?
–What are your expectations/ requirements for this product/ service?
–What process did you go through to determine these requirements or needs?
–How do you see this happening?
–What is it that you’d like to see accomplished?
The key is to listen closely to what they do and don’t say… Are the expectations reasonable? Are they realistic with their time frame, budget and needs? Is everybody else at fault? It’s harder to do, but try to listen to what they don’t say including their non-verbals, are they rolling their eyes as they talk about someone (a sign of disrespect) or is it said with a sarcastic tone…
It is okay to say thanks but no thanks…
To create a rewarding business that helps more people in the long run, sometimes you have to do uncomfortable things. It is not self-centered or egotistical to say no. Keep of list of referral partners or simply say, “Thank you, this isn’t something I do.” Your business (and life) is yours to design. Take time to attract the people you are meant to serve. Part of choosing the “right client” involves gently steering the wrong ones away.
I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.—Bill Cosby