6 Signs You Have a Non-Ideal Client and Why (and How) to Cut Them Loose
When you first start in business and money and customers feel hard to come by, it’s hard to imagine turning down business. It’s common for new entrepreneurs to take as many clients as anyone who is willing to pull out the credit card.
But after a few unpleasant experiences with non-ideal clients, it becomes more clear, a) who they are and b) what to do when you have them.
WHO ARE NON-IDEAL CLIENTS?
Here are the tip-offs you are working with a non-ideal client. They:
- don’t see the value you are providing
- don’t want what you are able to deliver
- don’t pay the bill
- argue regarding the bill or terms of the agreement
- cancel appointments
- don’t make time for appointments
- don’t do the homework or footwork
- have poor awareness and insight around the issues they are bringing into the professional relationship
- don’t take ownership of why they are where they are and expect others to fix it and them
- give in to their resistance rather than collaborate with you to help you work them through it
- are not fully committed to their transformation
- don’t trust you
- are okay with being okay rather than excellent
- create a sense of discomfort or negative feelings when you see them listed on your calendar or receive any communication from them
- drain rather than energize you.
WHY CUT LOOSE OF NON-IDEAL CLIENTS?
Non-ideal clients will never…
- truly be satisfied with you and your services
- refer ideal clients to you, but may refer more non-ideal clients
- help your business grow
- help you grow and develop and gain increasing confidence and appreciation of your genius.
The longer you hold on to a non-ideal client, the more energy they suck and the less space you have for your ideal clients.
HOW TO LET THEM GO
You can spend more time going back and forth with a non-ideal client than you would just be cutting them loose quickly:
- If a non-ideal client requests early termination or argues about the fee even if it is in conflict with your business agreement with them, state the policy. Let them you know you will make an exception by allowing early termination or refund, and refund them promptly and politely.
- Live in abundance, knowing God has better clients in mind to work with you.
- Note the aspects of the non-ideal client that you found difficult and incorporate the positive side of those traits into your ideal client Avatar.
- Take time to have clarity about the misfit between your value and what you offer clients and what this particular client was looking for.
- Make adjustments to your business contracts or business policies that may have made the situation ambiguous. Review your contracts. Some parts of it may create an opening for clients looking for backdoors to escape the hard work and discomfort of real transformation.
- Invest your freed up energy into making yourself visible to your ideal clients.
- Celebrate that you love yourself enough to free yourself from toxic or difficult people, places, or situations.
It isn’t a crime when a business arrangement ends up being a poor fit.
But the good news is you don’t need to contort yourself into a pretzel trying to be everything to everyone. Be who you are. Know God created you for your specific mission very intentionally;
and let the Holy Spirit lead you to higher ground when something in business didn’t work out exactly how you wished it would.
Christian Entrepreneurs Biz and Life Tip: Doing God’s will feels more like letting go than pushing or forcing. Any relationship professional or personal that creates regular friction warrants a re-evaluation.