Every other day or so I'm seeing yet another ezine article, blog post, get-rich-overnight scheme or software which promises to give you what the authors think you want most: more clients.
They're not challenging you to ask the *real* questions you should be asking:
- Do you REALLY wnat more clients and
If you do, do you DESERVE them?
Let's tackle #1 first. . .are you looking for more clients or bottom line more profits (a.k.a. more money)? If it's higher profits you're looking for, more clients aren't the only way to get there.
And, they may actually be a hindrance in increasing your bottom line!
If you're working with a client who isn't ideal for you, who drains your energy just thinking about them and, as the case usually is, is your highest maintenance/lowest paying client, chances are pretty good that you're LOSING rather than making money.
In order to be true to yourself, your business AND your client (after all, you're not operating at your absolute best if you cringe whenever he calls or the phone rings), let him go and create the space for your ideal client.
The other question this begs is "Are you charging enough?" If everyone you speak with immediately hires you and sounds relieved when they hear what you're charging, chances are you're rates are not in alignment with the value you provide.
For help with pricing challenges, I highly recommend Kendall SummerHawk's "How to Charge What Your Worth and Get It" system.
And now for the second question you need to ask yourself in determining whether or not you want more clients: "Do you deserve them?"
I expect to ruffle a few feathers with this question, but the truth is, if they're going to treat new clients the same way they treat existing clients, many small business owners don't deserve to have any new clients!
In determining whether or not YOU deserve more clients, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I have a new client intake process and do all clients go through the SAME process and receive the SAME experience?
Are expectations — theirs of me and me of them — clearly PRE-defined (in writing through a New Client Welcome Packet) so everyone knows and understands what mutual roles and responsibilities are BEFORE we start?
Do new clients sign an agreement and is work NOT started until the agreement is received?
Does my client agreement, if I have one, include the terms of our arrangement, a confidentiality statement and "breakup" rules?
These are just a few of the questions you want to ask yourself BEFORE launching an all out campaign to get more clients. It all comes down to a very simple way of doing business: you must have processes — processes which are followed no matter what, no matter who a new client is and no matter who on your team is sending the information — consistency, especially in this day and age, is part of making your business extraordinary!
After all, the best advertising is word of mouth and you want to ensure that what your clients (current AND former) say about you is something you'd want to read on the front page of a national paper — run your business this way and you'll never have to worry about *getting* more clients again.