As entrepreneurs, we need to make sure we are serving the right audience and solving the right problem. Be it any business, without having an eye on our financial and non-financial goals, we cannot expect good figures on our balance sheets.
One of the major reasons behind increased overheads is – the selection of clients. If, as an entrepreneur, you are not choosing your clients pragmatically, you are risking every penny of your investment. To have a client selection criterion is not only an intelligent decision but really important if you want to be one of those “privileged” professionals who work with the best clients.
You can have the best clients, if you take the time to decide who you want to work with and who you can help the most, providing greater value, results, and satisfaction for both parties.
Through this article, we would like to talk about the 5 criteria that will ensure that the type of client you choose, matches your skillset and what you like to do the most knowing.
The 5 criteria you need to consider are the following:
In case, you want to avoid last minutes disappointments, you must list down the answers to the following questions –
Chemistry with a client is really important
If you cannot connect, it is better to disengage yourself. Do you like working with demanding clients, who need you at every step, who needs you? Or do you prefer to work with people who are autonomous, who make their own decisions, and who seek your advice to grow and improve every day? Are your ideal clients responsible for their actions or looking to blame someone else when things don’t go as expected?
Understand us well, you can choose to work with the type of clients you want. You must love your profession and love the type of clients with whom you want to work. If not, it will be a complete struggle and you will hate every minute you start your day. Not all personalities match everyone. A client-service provider relationship is nothing more than a relationship between two people. If there is no “feeling”, chemistry, confidence, comfort, or the term that is important to you, it is difficult for you to help him achieve his goals.
Do you see yourself in the action?
Quite obvious, if you are not in the action, then you cannot be held responsible for the failure of the project.
Make sure, the client you opt to work with is allowing you to do the things that should be done. It is because you have a method that you have already tried and that has worked with other clients.
Your ideal client is willing to break paradigms and leave behind old beliefs. Suppose you are a developer offering services that help your clients to have user-friendly mobile apps. You know that the type of UI client wants is a complete disaster. And, still, he wants to continue with it, without listening to your expert opinion, then you definitely don’t have a client.
In the best of cases, you have a fastidious buyer who will haggle your services every month and will be unhappy every time he has to pay your bill, even when you devour yourself on discounts and give a first-class service.
The problem is not your service, nor your rate, nor the market. The problem is that he is not listening to your expert advice and risking everything.
Never work without a contract
Never opt to work with a client without a contract. Though it may get you some early leads, yet, it will get you out of many tense moments.
Contracts are made at the beginning of the relationship with a new client, when everything goes well and easily, to manage the end of the relationship when everything goes wrong.
When defining the purpose of the project, it is recommended to be stingy with words and to detail as much as you can.
Never work without a (milestone) payment structure
Despite delivering quality products, payments and billing hours are the two major reasons behind every project dispute. Most of the business managers, in order to reach their sales target, sign contact with undefined milestones. And, when it comes to payment, things get messy.
Late payments can increase the pressure on the company’s financial goals, hence productivity, especially when you have to assign dedicated resources. Hence, when choosing a client, make sure, both parties agree to the milestone payment structures.
Be careful about fake/free/demo jobs
It should be pure business and no charities for any reason. As an entrepreneur, never forget that demo jobs can get you leads, but not always. Be very careful about fake and false job postings. It is better to say no to a dubious job.
The idea is, not to deliver a demo job from scratch, but to offer one of your services as a demo. In case, you have been asked to demonstrate your skills as a logo designer, make sure, you are not doing version one as a demo. Rather, offer the second version for free. Never miss calculating your profit margin, be it a small job or a big one.
Draw a user persona of your client
The best way to procure an ideal client is – sketching their User Persona. Regardless of the method, you use to obtain your clients, do in-depth research.
Find out about their work experience with previous service providers. Remember, portfolio sharing is a two-tier process, hence, you can always ask for the same. This will help you to understand their professional category.
Perhaps, this is why they say, you should choose your clients, even if they are paying you for your service. Never compromise your inner peace and professional ethics for a certain amount of money. For a long-term business relationship, it is very important to make think beyond money, because you need a deeper motivation than this.