Most people in marketing, especially within the professional services arena are actively looking for clients. Some of them are so into client acquisition that they will literally take on anyone. Sucks for them.
See, not all clients are good. And it’s not just for financial reasons either. I’ve had people that want to pay me a lot of money to work with them, but they don’t match my criteria. Of course, it’s a hard situation when you have to reject someone. It’s even harder when you need the money. But I’ve always believed that if you stick with who you are, you attract the right kind of people. And its worked for me pretty well so far.
So, let’s talk about why certain people are not allowed within my realm:
#1) You Talk Negatively About Others
That’s right; it’s as simple as that. If what comes out of your mouth is nothing but negativity about others, whether you work with them, know them casually or just heard bad things about them, we can’t do business.
Negativity is a telltale sign of a problem client to me, because it means that they live in a glass half empty world. That’s dangerous in business. If you see the negative side of things all the time, you will never get anywhere. You’ll be so focused on what’s broken then what works, and one thing that’s working is more important than a thousand things that aren’t.
When you talk bad about someone on a personal level, its unattractive. Not only is it likely that you will talk bad about me in the future, but it shows that you care more about gossiping then correcting the problem, and that’s a great way to solve nothing.
#2) You Feel the Need to Add a Comment to Everything
There’s an old story about 7 lawyers who worked for a company. Every time a legal document came in to the company, all 7 lawyers had to read through it. Every time, all 7 lawyers had something different to say, and it slowed the process down quite a bit. One day, a document passed through all 7 lawyers, and this time, only 6 of them commented on it. The 7th lawyer felt the document was acceptable and all points had already been covered by the other lawyers. The next day, there were only 6 lawyers.
In this story, lawyers feel the need to comment on a document even if the document is perfect, because if they don’t, in the owners eyes, they are being paid to do nothing. Some business owners feel the same way, and feel the need to comment on every single thing. In reality, this is not only unnecessary, but it is unproductive.
Everyone has their field of expertise, and everyone is great at something. Business owners that are often entrepreneurs as well are used to switching hats where they are needed, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good thing. More often than not, this gets in the way. I am good at what I do, and that is the very reason they contacted me in the first place. If they feel the need to comment and change and add to my campaign ideas, I welcome them if they are constructive criticism or value additions. If they are subconscious attempts to maintain power or ego, they only slow down the process.
If you want me to help you, let me help you.
#3) You Can’t Let Go
Often the biggest reason I end up not working with a client is because they are simply not ready to let go of the reins and let someone else steer the business. When it comes to marketing, I’ve helped quite a few businesses skyrocket, and I understand what it takes on all levels to make that happen. If I get for a second that you are not ready to allow these things to happen, it would be a waste of money for you and a waste of time for me.
I want to help. That is really truly what I want to do. If you don’t let me help, it means you don’t trust me. If you don’t trust me, our relationship will never work. I need to make you money in order to keep you as a client. You need me to help make you money. There is no reason for distrust, so when it is an issue, it shows that this is likely a pattern for you. If that’s the case, we’re probably not a good match.
Let me work *WITH* you, not *FOR* you
Business has to be built on the trust of others, because you’ll have a hell of a time trying to build it alone. If you think negatively of others, you feel the need to comment on everything, and you have a problem letting go of control, you’re not ready for what I would help you build.
I help people get customers, but knowing that I use my talents to influence people, I have to be sure you are the right person for them. If I feel that you are not as genuine and open as you should be, I won’t think you’re a good match for the consumer, and I can’t in good conscience recommend that they purchase from you.
Hopefully though, we’re a match. So let’s bring your business to life!