There are some clients whose business you should not take.
Unappreciative: Don’t take clients who don’t appreciate the value you create. You will never have a great, partner-oriented relationship with people who don’t appreciate who you are, what you do, how you do it, and the difference that it makes. You have limited time, spend with the people who appreciate the value you create.
Lowest Price: Don’t take clients who only care about lowest price. If the only way you can win a client’s business is by winning a race to the bottom, you haven’t really won. You have really just agreed to provide your services at the lowest price. That isn’t selling and, unless the lowest price is your business model, you’ve won nothing.
Vendor: Don’t take clients who don’t perceive you as a peer and a partner. You don’t want to work for people who believe you are a vendor or supplier. You don’t want to work for clients who don’t believe that you have real value, and who will look for you the help they need solving their biggest challenges.
Won’t Pay: Don’t take clients who don’t want to pay you the money they owe you. There are some people who don’t like to pay their bills. But when you create value, you are entitled to capture a share of the value you create. And you’re entitled to capture it promptly, and without having to fight for it.
They’re Desperate: Don’t take clients who are only working with you because they are desperate. Much of the time the only reason a prospective client is giving you their business is because they are desperate, it means there is a reason they can’t find someone else to help them. The fact that your prospective client is desperate is a clue that there is something wrong.
You’re Desperate: Don’t take clients that you are only taking because you are desperate. If you are only taking a client because you are desperate, it means you know that you are making a bad decision. Solving the problem of your prior bad decisions by making another bad decision isn’t a terrific strategy.
Bullies: Don’t take clients who are bullies. You don’t want to work with bad people. You don’t want to work with seriously dysfunctional people. And you don’t want to work for people who will bully you. These people will also bully the people on your team, and you can’t allow that.
Lose Money: Don’t take clients who will cause you to lose money. Taking business without making a profit is the same as not taking their business. Taking business and losing money is the very worst idea ever. If you what you do creates value for your client, you should get paid for it. If you aren’t profitable, you aren’t going to be around to create value for the people who want you to profit and to generate future value.
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