You always try to be everything to everyone. – Everclear
You aren’t everything to everyone. And they aren’t everything to you either.
- You have limited time: You don’t have enough time to call on–or win–every prospective client you might serve. You have to ruthlessly prioritize your time if you are going to generate the results you are capable of. Time spent with some prospects means time denied to other prospects. You have to make decisions.
- You have limited resources: You don’t only have limited time; you also have limited resources. If you need your technical team, your operations team, or some other overlay group’s help, you have to make tough decisions as to where to apply those resources. Apply them where they can make a difference and where it makes sense.
- You aren’t the right choice: There is no reason to pretend you are something you are not. There are some prospective clients who really should be doing business with someone else. The sooner you make the decision to let them have each other the sooner you can focus on your dream clients.
- Some prospects don’t perceive your value: There are some people who not perceive the value that you create. You’re better than your competitor. You can help this prospect produce better results. They don’t care, and they don’t value those greater results right now. Move on and sell to prospects who do perceive the value you create.
- Some prospects won’t pay for your value: A Rolls Royce is a better car than most other cars. But you likely don’t perceive enough value to pay just over $400,000 for a Rolls. The price difference between you and your competitors isn’t this great, but there are some people who will never believe it’s worth paying more–even when you can show them the ROI. Go back to number 1, you have limited time.
- Bad cultural fit: Sometimes you just don’t fit. Sometimes a company’s values clash with yours. Sometimes their management or leadership styles make it difficult to gain any traction internally.
- Energy vampires: Some clients are abusive to their “suppliers.” They don’t see you as a peer or a partner. Instead, they see you as a necessary evil, someone to be bullied, or someone who is disposable. These are nightmare clients. You discover this in the sales process, if you are open to seeing the evidence. Disqualify energy vampires and work with grown ups.
Who are you presently pursuing that falls into one or more of these categories?
What do you need to do to upgrade to a better prospective client, a dream client?