Every client-facing business professional has a favourite client – someone who is pleasant to work with that brings in good business. The best clients give you the chance to do exciting work on a regular basis. Dealing with them is enjoyable and they pay their bills on time.
Of course, there are also less-than-ideal clients. But as companies seek to grow, they may forget to focus on attracting the ‘right’ type of clients.
The trick is to learn to take a step back and evaluate your business and your activities, which will allow you to make informed decisions about what works and what doesn’t. Then think through the following questions, which will help you pinpoint where your business is at and how to move forward in attracting the clients you desire:
Where is your best business coming from?
If businesspeople can understand the answer to that question, they have a far better chance of getting more of the same type of work. You should understand the source of your new business. If you understand the source, you will get a better grip on which of your marketing activities is working and where you could improve.
What work do you love?
Think about why you love it and where you’re adding value. Also examine the work you hate, why you hate it or why it’s not profitable. Once people are aware of what makes them love or hate a particular job or client, they are better able to work towards finding profitable work that they will enjoy, as well as saying ‘no’ to bad work that doesn’t pay.
What products or services do you offer but not actively sell?
So often there’s a big disconnect between what a company advertises on their website and the services they actually provide. By bridging that gap, you can make existing clients aware of services outside of those you’ve been supplying to them, as well as attracting new clients.
Are your current clients satisfied with your work?
If they are satisfied, find out whether or not they are referring you. Often, focusing on improving clients’ levels of satisfaction and on driving recommendations can substantially impact your business development efforts.
Do you have a good network?
Determine who in your network offers you strategic value and how your relationship can be mutually beneficial. Work on deepening those key relationships, rather than diluting your energy trying to build a very big network, which will remain shallow.