Have you ever wished you could fire one of your clients?
When you get right down to it, what is really stopping you from doing that? Could it be that you do not know if there is another client to replace that one or the uncertainty of getting a new client in the first staple which means that you end up taking any and every client you can get?
You can often fall into the trap of having an interesting client filter process which looks a little something like this:
1. Do you have a pulse?
2. Do you have cash?
3. You’re in!
You will always end up giving away your power in this type of relationship. All sorts of problems come about because of this desperation to get the client in the first place.
Things like scope creep become commonplace. Which, if you're not yet familiar with the term, is where your client keeps asking for more and more beyond the scope of the actual project you are being hired to do or services that you do not typically offer. All because you do not want to lose a client.
You continually allow this because you want to keep them happy and your bank balance topped up.
Then other things start to happen.
You can’t take on new clients because you end up being at capacity because you are giving all your time to what is, in effect, a less than ideal client.
The reality is that you should have said no to them before they became a client by having a sales prevention department in place.
How do you set up an UnHustled Sales Prevention System?
The first thing you should do is to raise your prices at least 50%, and depending on what you are currently charging, can likely 3x or 5x your current pricing.
This is the easiest and quickest positive change you can do in your business.
You will have some clients leave, which is good because they are likely to be price shoppers and do not value what you do.
Interestingly, some of your clients will tell you that you should have increased your prices and value you significantly more because of this. Some people simply want the best and will pay for it. Make a note of those people to develop a deeper relationship with them.
The second thing you should do, assuming that the price increase did not send your less desirable clients running for the door, is to let those less desirable clients know they are not going to be your client anymore.
Obviously, don’t be rude about this. Find an alternative solution for them. Just because you don’t like them as a client does not mean that they are not perfect for someone else.
What you will find is that between 60% and 80% of your time is being taken up with those clients who are always wanting more from you and resistant to paying you for it.
By increasing your prices and removing the people who, quite literally, suck the life from you, will have more free time and be able to focus on doing your best work for your best clients who are now paying you 3x to 5x more money.
It is quite likely you are now working less and earning more.
This is when you can start to attract more clients who are similar or of a better caliber.
How to Attract a Better Caliber of Client
This is the whole purpose of niching down. To uncover exactly who your best clients are and then to go and find more like them.
You should have just done this with your current client list and are now left with the people who really value you and what you do and are prepared to pay you for what you are worth to do it for them.
You could (and should) go through that process again in the future and continue to whittle down the best clients and increase your prices. But that is a story for another day.
Prior to then, you need to take a good hard look at who you really want to do your best work for. Looking at existing clients is a quick way to identify commonalities.
What I also love to do is to define who you hate working for...those clients you politely fired. It's often significantly easier to define who you DON'T want to work with, which by process of elimination gives you a prospect pool of people you WOULD like to work with. Then you can further refine.
The next part to client attraction is to stop being everything to everyone.
Too many agencies try to provide a little something to everyone, which gets you into some of the problems mentioned above.
Assuming you're offering several services already, you want to apply the same process to your offers as you did to your clients.
Which are your best, highest value services? The ones that generate the most amount of revenues with the least amount of hassle?
What you should end up with is a list of your perfect clients which you only do your best and highest value work for. This allows you to become the expert and most importantly to be seen as the expert to your best clients who you are now doing your best work for.
It is only then when you are absolutely crystal clear on who you want to work with AND absolutely crystal clear on what you will do for those people...
Those people bring you joy when you are allowed to do your best work for your best clients. Then you can then add further sales prevention systems in place, because even though we are clear about who you want to work with, less desirable people will slip through the net if you do not ensure they are who you want.
By Appointment Only
Once you are crystal clear on who you help and what you do for them in clear and very specific detail and you have cleared the decks by increasing your prices and removing those clients who do not fit your ideal client criteria...
Then, and only then, can you start to ensure all future client prospects are run through a filter. The very same filter you have just worked out and set up.
What happens is that when you are clear on who you want to help and how you can best help them is that the way you have conversations with people in written or verbal form changes.
It changes for the better in all your messaging which means that most people will self select themselves into or out of your sales process.
For example, if you are wanting to work with established consultants then a clear message along the lines of:
“...if you are a consultant looking for consistent lead flow, then read on...”
That is a little in your face, but it does drive the point home. Anyone who is not a consultant and not looking for a consistent lead flow will remove themselves at this first hurdle.
Personally, I like people I could potentially work with to watch a short video which is typically less than 20 minuntes or they can read a text version of the same message.
This states clearly what I do for the type of person I want to work with.
If that is them, they are asked to fill out an application requesting some extra details about their current situation.
You read that right. I ask people to fill out an application. This further applies a self-selection filter. If the problem is real enough and big enough for them and they believe I am the right person to help them fix it for them, then they can speak to me.
By doing this, I rarely need to try to convince people to buy what I’m selling. Instead, they are compelled to work with me because they already think I am the best person to help them through this problem or deliver a service for them.
This is exactly what we do in our own business interests as well as help you set up the same process for your business success.
I find it very interesting when people are skeptical about applying this simple process to their business.
There is often some resistance to getting it set up, but the reality is that when you do set it up for your business you will never go back to doing it the old way.
You will be:
- Charging more for doing the thing you love and are an expert at.
- Removing those clients that create problems and resist the help you provide.
- Only speak to the people who actually want your help and are willing to pay for your expertise.
- Grow your business with clients who want to work with you.
The difference between where you are now and the possible future you could be experiencing is worlds apart.
If you need help setting the UnHuslted Sales Prevention Department in your business, then we have a whole program dedicated to supporting you to get UnHustled.
When you're ready, let's talk.