Screening-Potential-Clients (1)

Avoiding Business Headaches: Identifying Clients Who Aren’t a Good Match for Your Services


When a Potential Client May Not Be a Good Fit for Your Service

As a service provider, it’s essential to be selective about the clients you work with. While it can be tempting to take on any client who shows interest in your services, working with the wrong ones can cause a lot of stress and frustration for both you and the client. You likely started your business to find new levels of freedom and joy. So don’t sabotage that dream by choosing to work with the wrong clients. Here are some signs that a client isn’t a good fit for your services.

Your Solution Isn’t a Fit for Their Problem

Sometimes, a potential client may come to you with a problem that your service isn’t well-suited to solve. If this is the case, it’s important to be honest with them upfront. While it may be tempting to take on the work and try to adapt your services to fit their needs, it’s not always the best idea. If you can’t provide a solution that will truly solve their problem, it’s a sign that they may not be a good fit for your services.

They’re Not Willing to Pay Your Fees

Your fees reflect the value you provide, and it’s important to work with clients who understand that. If a client is not willing to pay your fees or tries to negotiate them down, it may be a sign that they don’t value your services. It’s crucial to establish clear payment terms and expectations from the beginning to avoid this situation. While it’s important to be flexible and work with clients on payment terms, it’s not sustainable to work with clients who consistently don’t have the budget to engage your services. A quick note: sometimes when a client resists your pricing offer, it’s about you failing to properly communicating value, and you can learn how to do that in this blog post.

They Don’t Have Budget Authority

Your services are valuable, and it’s important to work with clients who can actually make a decision on whether or not to make the purchase. Often, point persons in larger institutions are interested in your services, but have no budget authority, power or influence. If a potential client does not have a budget or budget authority to engage your services, it’s a sign that they may not be a good fit. Get clear on the budget and decision making process and timeline in the organization you’re engaging with during sales conversations.

They Have Expectations That You Can’t Meet

It’s essential to set realistic expectations with your clients from the beginning. If a client has unrealistic expectations or expects deliverables that are beyond your capacity or outside of the scope of your services, it can be challenging to keep them satisfied. While it’s essential to help your clients achieve their goals, it’s also important to be honest about what is possible and what isn’t. It’s important to avoid fulfilling offers way outside of your lane just to gain or keep a client. Walk away and be honest about why you’re declining the opportunity to work with them.

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They’re Not Available to Communicate

Communication is key in any business relationship, and it’s especially important when working with clients. If a client is difficult to reach or doesn’t respond to your emails or phone calls even for initial discussions , it is a sign that they may be challenging to work with to complete the project. It’s crucial to establish clear communication channels and expectations from the beginning to avoid this situation. People have rough seasons. It may be that they will be more available and ready to work with you in the future. Let the client know in a kind manner that you understand their time constraints and recommend they reach out when their availability changes. Assure them that this is what is needed in order for you to get them results.

They Have a Negative Attitude<

A client’s attitude can make a big difference in the success of a project. If a client has a negative attitude or is difficult to work with, it can be dreadful to spend hours of time working with and for them. It’s important to screen for this from the beginning and to avoid this situation whenever possible. Side note: YOU should also show up in the most delightful, high-vibration way to work with clients. Be the meeting that people can’t wait to attend and the person that they look forward to seeing. This translates into more clients, referrals, buzz and revenue.

They Aren’t Available or Willing to Participate in Your Process

Working with clients requires collaboration and participation on both sides. However, a potential client should be coming to you because they want your customer experience. If they are not available or responsive to your requests for information or feedback, it can be challenging to deliver the results they’re looking for. If they want to change your process and do things their way, it may mean they need another vendor. Side note: It’s important to be kind, accommodating and flexible. Clients should feel valued, catered to and able to share their preferences. You SHOULD be willing to go above and beyond for your clients – to an extent. Be clear about when a client is asking for minor adjustments and when they are in need of an entirely different experience, offer and vendor.

They Don’t Respect Your Expertise

When a client doesn’t trust your expertise, it can be challenging to work with them. They may constantly question your decisions and recommendations or insist on doing things their way. While it’s normal for clients to ask questions, it’s not okay for them to disregard your expertise altogether. If a client doesn’t respect your knowledge, it’s a sign that they may not be a good fit for your services.

Don’t let insecurities and lack of confidence lead you to take on clients that aren’t your ideal clients. Don’t let desperation to meet revenue goals lead you to work with clients who are not a good fit for your services. It’s important to be selective about the clients you work with to avoid stress and frustration. By keeping an eye out for these signs, you can make sure that you’re working with clients who will truly benefit from your services and help your business grow. Decline in kindness and offer a referral to a company that may be a better fit when possible.

Makisha Boothe

Makisha is Head Business Coach and founder of Sistahbiz Global Network. She specializes in rapid improvement and innovation, and helps women with business startup and design.

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