Professional marketing is not just about attracting new clients. It’s about attracting high quality clients; the kind of people or businesses you want to work with, value your work and who pay you accordingly.
Low quality clients from ineffective marketing
The challenge here is that many small businesses do not market their services correctly. As a direct result, they often end up working with low quality clients. These typically include:
- Clients who pay them too late and cause cash flow problems.
- Clients who pay them too little.
- Clients who clearly grab more of their time and energy than they pay for.
- Clients who are just a total pain in the ass to work with!
In an effort to get money in, these business owners feel pressured into accepting almost any clients who come their way. In doing so, they take a short-term decision, which usually leads to long term problems that reduce their chances of business survival, let alone success.
Working in a business with a low quality client list can be pretty soul destroying too. It’s also not uncommon for your worst clients to be your most demanding clients. I have often seen businesses, where 50% of their time is spent on the worst 10% of their clients.
When I first start working with a new client, I make it a priority to redesign their client list, so they can fire their over-demanding, unappreciative and bad paying clients. Today, I am going to suggest that you consider doing the same. I recommend you start developing a marketing plan to rid yourself of your lowest value clients and replace them with the profile of client that is best suited to your business goals.
One in. One out
I have heard respected business leaders telling small business owners to fire their lowest value clients today. I think these experts sometimes forget what it’s like running a small business and that if some small business owners were to take their advice, they would go broke within 30/60 days. This is why I recommend replacing clients, one in, one out. When your improved marketing generates a high quality client, you fire your worst client; until you have developed a client list based on the ideal profile for you and your business.
The challenge here is that you have to change your current marketing, if you want to improve the calibre of clients you attract. If you repeat the same kind of marketing errors, which led you to attract your existing low value clients, you will simply be swapping low quality clients for new, low quality clients.
If you are not sure about exactly how to start attracting the best clients, you can either try and learn how to “do it yourself” or you can save a lot of time and a massive amount of money, by hiring a marketing professional who already knows exactly what you need to do and will work with you to make it happen.
The bottom line: Hoping that things will just get better isn’t a strategy.