May 232012

customers, ideal customers, firing customers, qualifying customers, grading customers, small business growth, service business growth

  • Step One:Define Your Clients: We all have clients that drive us mad. They might always pay late or complain and haggle over invoices or prices, wait until the last-minute to lodge important paperwork, put unnecessary demands on you, have questionable hygiene habits… the list goes on. The first step is to define your clients into 4 classes A,B,C & D class clients. The definition is up to you. You might also find an ‘A’ class client might be one that always pays a month late but never questions the price.
  • Step Two: Tell them where they rate: Send all your ‘A’ and ‘B’ clients a letter telling them that you appreciate their effort in the relationship, that you enjoy working with them and will always strive to do the best for them. Then send your ‘C’ and ‘D’ class clients a letter suggesting that it might be time for a ‘new approach’. State your commitment to service and explain how important their participation is in the relationship. If there is no change after a couple of more contacts, you might refer them to your competition. It costs you to work for these clients. You make a living working with numbers… if you make $100 profit on doing a job for a client who haggles, complains and wastes another few hours of your time and then starts on your staff members, you’d be better off without them. In the least they vastly increase the chance of a heart attack or other stress related disease (like divorce).
  • Step Three: Fill the void: The time you recover when your ‘C’ and ‘D’ grade clients take their business to your competitors and driving them mad, can be used for marketing; attracting clients that want to work for you and that you want to work with. Alternatively you could work on systematizing to increase productivity in your practice. You could even go home early and spend some extra time with your family or on that neglected hobby or passion.
  • Step Four: Maintain the system: It’s important to inoculate yourself against more ‘C’s & ‘D’s… Make sure that your new clients are educated on the fact that the unique and outstanding level of service that you provide for them is possible because your clients commit to participating in the relationship and define what you expect of them. This is an important strategy to get YOU more in control your business, improve your profitability and most importantly, reduce the stress levels of you and your team.


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 May 23, 2012  Posted by at 6:00 AM Growth Tagged with: , ,  Add comments

  5 Responses to “Are you practicing these 4 Steps to find your Ideal Customers?”

  1. I myself had to fire bad clients. I terminated a pasta chain who were paying me 35- 90 days late consistently and there was a district manager who stepped in and instead of paying $50.00 per window cleaning per restuarant, he wanted to pay $37.00 for 6 resuarants every two weeks. There was one I was charging $85.00 that he would have want to pay $37.00 for. My last two invoices were 2 and 3 months late. When I emailed the President to work something out, he just defended everyone and said they pay all thier vendors between 30-60 days. He even accused me of “working against people” in stead “working with them.” I also found that when people nit pick me, I raise the price to what I really think it’s worth and they usaully go away by themselves. I read about how “your cheapest clients are usually the most pickest ones” before I started, and now I have come to find that, that author was right!

  2. Excellent analysis – also applies to business partner organisations! Tony

  3. I would have LOVED to have shared this story on Facebook with my readership, however when I published the URL to the page, your shortened HootSuite URL showed up in the news feed rather than the title and picture from the post. Page aesthetics are important… if you get this issue fixed, please let me know and I will be more than happy to share future posts with my readership and hopefully improve your readership (and business!) too.

    Thanks for looking into it.


  4. Jason great article and when I owned my cleaning company I didn’t do this enough. I’d add that “C” & “D” customers take away from the overall quality of service and care that “A” & “B” customers receive from staff and management and that by letting those customers go your left with time and a positive attitude to work/care for A&B! Thanks!

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