A new car?
Next summer’s vacation?
A doctor? An attorney?
An interior designer?
It’s amazing the lengths we go through to vet the best, the most qualified, and the most exclusive people, places, and things, but when it comes to our clients, most take whatever they can get.
Too many times poor fit prospects, resource-draining individuals, and time vampires are indiscriminately brought onboard just because it’s a sale, a revenue source…it’s something.
An undefined marketing strategy is evident when a business is unclear about their ideal client profile. In today’s market being a generalist that serves anyone who can afford your fees, positions your services to become a commodity in the not so distant future.
Play the commodity game if you will, but just know that sustainable growth is near impossible.
That’s right, worthy.
A prospect being able to afford your services should be just one of several qualifiers to gain access to your company.
Why? One word – EXCLUSIVITY
Exclusivity is a powerful attraction magnet.
To some degree or another, we all want what we can’t have or what others can’t have. It’s the basics of supply and demand.
Though we can’t fully control demand, we can control our own supply.
We can control how many clients we take on, the minimum fee level we’ll start an engagement with, who has access to our time, and how we classify basic clients from 5-star clients.
This is all predicated on the fact that we’re already a first class operation delivering exemplary service. Without providing premium service first our claim to exclusivity will be meaningless.
Who are our clients?
What’s their industry? Their size? Their annual revenues?
What type of personalities are we interacting with?
How loyal do we think they are?
Are they raving fans of our work?
Do they recommend and refer us easily?
How do they treat us in comparison to how we treat them?
If they were to leave, what would that mean regarding revenue, morale, capacity and time?
These questions are geared to help you to see if your current client mix should be cultivated to attract more of these personas, or if an overdue pruning is required to start showing your industry that your services are not for everyone.
Right-sizing is what successful companies do to position themselves above their competitors who are engaged in spray and pray marketing tactics to acquire any customer at any cost.
No, we don’t negotiate our fees.
No, we don’t take on clients who don’t recognize our value.
No, we don’t interact with those who mistreat our staff.
No, we’re not on-call 24/7 for non-emergencies.
No, we don’t reward basic clients in the same way we do 5-star clients.
Yes, we take on clients who value our services.
Yes, we build relationships with our clients beyond the transaction.
Yes, we reward our best clients with memorable moments and experiences.
Yes, we go the extra mile for our clients because they value us.
Yes, our fees keep us out of the commodity game.
Yes, our reputation in the industry sets us above the rest.
Yes, our clients will be hard-pressed to find a comparable alternative.
Defining who you will and will no longer service is a hard decision without question.
However, the rewards of attracting and retaining 5-star clients will surpass the adjustments made.
This is about quality over quantity. Too many principals are bogged down with basic clients who tax resources well above the fees they are paying.
If you’re in this situation ask yourself, is this ok?
If it’s not, then you’ll need to develop a right-sizing process that will professionally liberate you from ill-fit clients and create space for those genuinely deserving and appreciative of what you have to offer.
Also, by defining an ideal client profile, your marketing and branding content will be much more targeted to reach the right (profitable) audience.
It’s all upside for those who are tired of “taking what they can get.”
For the bold, download our 7-step guide to help get you started.