You can’t manage your clients with spreadsheets alone. Manage your clients and deals with the help of a simple CRM and sales tracking app like Base.
Many business owners rush at the scent of a new client. They get so caught up in the possibility of more work, higher revenues, or an exciting job that they forget to evaluate whether the client is a good fit for their service or product. Shiny object syndrome isn’t just a malady of marketers; it is a real concern for sustainable business growth and staff happiness.
For now, forget the chase. Ask yourself these five questions before running down a rabbit hole or sending over that contract.
1. What are they looking for?
What do they stand to get out of the deal? It’s a two-way street, after all. Specifically watch for clients who are focused solely on how much your product or service costs. While this should obviously be taken into consideration, the value of your services should weigh even higher in clients’ minds. If they’ll cross the street for a penny, they’ll cross right back, too. These customers tend to be demanding and irreverent, and they’ll often not even go through with the deal. It drains the energy out of you and your team to pitch business not worth winning.
2. Is my service the best thing for both of us?
Always do extensive research on the prospective client. Learn about his background. This will help you in two ways: You’ll have a better idea of whether or not this client is a good fit, and you can often find a way to tell a story or bring up a conversation that will connect you and the client to a common experience. Get to know your client to see if the partnership is a good fit. After you’ve done your research, you should be able to write down three to five reasons why this partnership works for both of you. If you can’t do that, maybe this isn’t the right fit for either one of you.
3. Will this client be so happy that he will tell others about your service?
This is a crucial aspect of growing your business — the wrong client can destroy your reputation, while a happy client can give you the boost you need. A satisfied customer equals free, genuine advertising through word of mouth, social networking, etc. An angry customer has access to the same sources of communication, but he will take to these platforms with more fury and a seemingly louder voice. Do your best to make sure that each client walks away qualm-free, and, as stated above, one way to do this is by making sure you and the client are a good match to begin with.
4. Is what I have as good as, or better than, what they could get elsewhere?
It’s going to be a rough road ahead if your new client finds a better deal right after signing off to do work with you. Make sure that your business is the best option out there. Before agreeing to take on a client, you need to have multiple reasons, besides price, for why you are the best choice in the industry. A helpful tip is to view the deal from their perspective — what would you want?
5. Is this client worth taking on?
This is the most important question to answer. Make sure the client will be beneficial for you, your business, and, yes, your revenue. If making this customer satisfied and happy means a net loss for the month, is he really worth it? Sometimes a customer can be unreasonable; it happens. Be certain that any new clients will benefit your company as a whole before you make a potentially costly mistake.
Once you’ve answered these questions, there is only one more word of warning. Be careful about the quantity of people you associate with your business. It’s sometimes better to have a few close connections than many faltering or mediocre ones. Ask yourself, “Do I really need this new client?” Sometimes, the answer may be no. That’s okay. Focus on truly valuable relationships, and your company’s growth won’t falter with each shiny, new business opportunity.