Leadership & Strategy | May 16, 2016

Choosing the Right Clients – Are They a Good Fit?
client meeting

For most companies, choosing the right clients often means spending a larger portion of your time meeting with potential clients. It may seem tedious at times, but you want to make sure that you’re working with the right type of clients for your business model and style. You want to put your heart into something you love rather than something you hate – and this includes your clients. These tips will help you determine the type of client that best suits your needs.

1. Craft Your Own Principles

Choosing the right client starts with identifying and defining your ideal customer or client. It’s important to know what exactly you’re looking for or at least have a general idea. Are you looking for clients who have small or large businesses? Are they able to meet your minimum requirement for cost? Do they have a good idea of what they want done with the project, or are you going to be pulling most of the weight? Before you get started in your search for clients, it’s important that you answer these questions.

2. Know Your Best and Worst Types of Clients

Once you have a good idea of which type of clients will be the happiest and most successful working with you, it’ll be easier to sift through the inquiries to find clients that are best suited to your company.

Choosing the right clients also means having an idea of those that are immediately an unlikely match. You want to consider several factors such as their products and services, the industries they’re involved with, the type of resources they have, their mission and values, and their level of competition. By sifting through the criteria that you want for your clients and eliminating those that don’t meet your requirements or that conflict with your agency’s goals, choosing the right clients is much easier.

3. Ask Good Questions

Asking potential clients good questions is one of the best ways to see if their company matches what you’re striving towards as a business. Questions help these potential clients to think through challenges and elicit information that you can use to determine if they’re a good fit. Be cautious of the questions you ask, as well as the order in which you ask – you don’t want this to feel like an interrogation. Instead, ask questions that will guide both you and the client in the right direction to figure out if this is the right fit.

4. It’s Never Too Late to Say Goodbye

Saying goodbye to a client is never an easy thing to do, but keep in mind that it is a possibility. There may be times when a client seemed like a good match but circumstance changed and it might be best to let a client go. For example, if they are abusive, you repeatedly don’t get paid on time or if the scope of the project increases but the client refuses to pay you more. No one wants to let a client go, but if you’ve taken a chance and it’s just not working out, it may be time.

Be Effective with your Time

When you're meeting with potential clients, get the most out of your time with these 5 Tips for More Effective Meetings.