“How will you make your clients feel when they think about your brand? Will you take them to a time when magic entertained them?“
The Consumer Is Boss
Yes, it’s true that the world we live in today has made the consumer the boss. As business owners, we have to format our marketing strategies around the client’s desires. Once we have their attention we then must keep them engaged as they decide rather to go with our brand or our competitors. This may sound like a lot of work us as entrepreneurs have to do in this age of the Internet; yes my friend it is. This can be an intimidating and overwhelming thought that keeps a lot of citizens loyal to there 9 to 5 occupations. But you are reading this because you dare to be bold. You are self-motivated and optimistic. You are one of the lucky few that have found your passion. All the time and energy you spend developing your brand barely feels like work. Now that you have made it this far it’s time to channel that time and energy to target those lucky customers whom will benefit from your online content and eventually your product or service. It’s time to decide the kind of clients you want to work with; be creative and target that audience with accuracy.
Some people are a pleasure to work with while others can just be a pain. Personally, my days of trying to work with unreasonably cheap, argumentative, and just impossible to please clients are far behind me. I focus my efforts on seeking qualified clients deserving of my services, consulting, and creativity. The truth is that being good at what you do will attract the good, the bad and the ugly no matter what you do. But I’d like to provide you with some strategies that I use to detour the unreasonably cheap, defuse the ticking time bombs, and keep the beloved.
The Unreasonably Cheap
There is a difference between cheap and unreasonably cheap. I can deal with a person looking for a bargain if there budget is reasonable. But then there are the unreasonably cheap people. These examples happen more often in the service industries. The ones that ask for free samples before committing as a customer. Beware they are more than likely to have plans to get a free service and move into the next victim. An easy way to get the payment you deserve the first time is to simply inform them that you have an extensive portfolio that their more than welcome to review before making a decision. Then there’s those that try to get you to do work against your set payment structure because they have been “burned” before and think you’ll take their money and not do the work. You are a professional and have clients to vouch. You should not have to pay for the mistakes made by someone with bad business practices. Chances are the reverse will happen. This situation almost always ends up with you losing a client. The client gets the finished product at half price because they told you they would pay the final balance when they see the finished product. Some financial issues come up in there life. Then not only do you lose time, money and the client! Why? Because the client will rather hire someone else for the next job than to pay their balance plus the cost of the next project. If you have accumulated a large portfolio of your work as proof of your quality then you more then likely also have plenty clients willing to vouch for your service and professionalism. Don’t lose money, clients and time being tricked into no longer being the clients top priority to get you paid for there finished product.
The Ticking Time Bombs
There will be instances where you will encounter clients whom the only goal is to ruin as much of your life as you will allow. Learning to spot these types will save you a lot of stress, time, and avoid the negative reviews they can’t wait to spread about your brand. Believe me when I say once you give in to this kind of client you will never be able to tame there lust for confusion. No matter how many favors you extend to repay the wrongs they have convinced you that you have committed. They will always find flaws in the service you provided. This is a tactic they use in order to trick you into believing you now owe them a favor to stay in their good graces. They praise your work and thank you but will always add at least one issue they found wrong with your work. If you’re like me you strive for perfection and this issue they claim to have found can naturally make you fill as if your service has less value. Knowing this they will either ask you to throw in something extra or ask you to discount the next project hinting “well there was that mistake you made”. Don’t fall into this never-ending cycle. The repellent for these type of clients is as follows. When they first attempt to start a disagreement with you, tell them your policies and rates then offer them a place they can review your work. Let them know that you are preoccupied at the moment and they can consider taking advantage of your great services and give you a call back once they have made up there mind. This will either defuse this ticking time bomb and they will respect you or it will make them the next persons problem. Either way, you don’t want a client that doesn’t respect you and starts the relationship trying to gain leverage over you.
Last but not certainly not the least client type I want to discuss are those you started your business for in the first place. Just as sure as there are bad seeds. You can rest assured that you’re going to come across just as many class acts. The clients that are humble, loyal and as long as you keep professional and reliable not only will they keep coming back but they will spread great reviews and refer you whenever the opportunity presents. Don’t waste time doing favors for those mentioned earlier to prove your worth and neglect your dream clients. Do the favors for them, go the extra mile when possible. Give them the something extra or discount every now and again even when you know they would gladly pay in full. Over time you’ll have plenty clients like this that will be loyal and support your business through dry spells. Take care of your prized clients and they will take care of you.
I hope you found this information helpful. Just thought I’d share a few things that I wish I didn’t have to learn the hard way. Remember success is not a destination it’s a lifestyle. Avoid those that want to slow you down or even hold you back. If you truly want to enjoy making a living from your passion. Focus on growing a wealth loyal clients that you love working with. And I believe your life will inevitably be filled with Bliss and Financial freedom.
Written by: Larry “KS” Streeter