First, let’s consider the fact that all clients are NOT good clients. It’s near to impossible to find a business in which every single client is the perfect client providing all necessary information in a timely manner, always being prompt for appointments, never needing any special assistance, always paying on time, etc.
The reality is, for most businesses it’s a 40/60 ratio. The top 40% of your clients make it possible for you to “manage” the bottom 60% of your clients.
Put another way, the revenue made from your top 40% of clients through simple, painless transactions that don’t require any extra time, makes up for the other 60% of your clients that place huge demands on your time and effort. It’s time to clean house and “fire” some clients!
If you are like most, fear of not being able to replace those client that you fire keeps you from doing it. However, consider the client that always turns a 5 minute question into a half an hour conversation. The one that needs you to hold their hand through every step they take. Yet, at the same time, this client is the smallest source of revenue you have because you are charging them on a flat fee basis.
This is the perfect example of a client that needs to be fired. It can be a scary prospect, but you may be surprised just how much of a positive impact getting rid of just one draining client can have on you and your business.
Once you jump the hurdle of firing that first bad client, you may be surprised how much easier it becomes. If you are reluctant to actually fire a client, then start by turning down a potential client that your gut tells you may become a problem client. Avoid the situation before it ever becomes a problem.
So what about the lost revenue from the fired client(s)? Compare it against the time you’ve recaptured by making that bold move. This extra time can now be refocused on bringing in new, quality clients. If you’ve already taken the time to define who your ideal client is, then you are well on your way. (If you haven’t yet done that, then please see Defining Your Ideal Client for guidance.)
Once you have perfected your ideal client, market directly to him/her. If you’ve narrowed your definition enough, you will find you are focusing on a specific niche in the market. When you begin to have several of those same types of clients, you will become known as the go-to firm for that specific group or type of business.
At that point, you will be able to charge more for your services because people will appreciate your expertise and understanding of their specific business. Marketing and sales will become easier as you focus on your preferred niche group, and growth will result.
Are you ready to fire your first client?