Have you ever experienced one (or more) of these challenges during a sales meeting?

– You’re doing your best to explain the benefits of your offer – but ever since the meeting started, it’s clear that you’re not getting through to the prospect. No matter how you twist and turn, he continues to have a skeptical look on his face.

– The conversation is going well – but when you’re about to seal the deal and “just” agree on the price, the person on the other side quickly withdraws. The discussion that follows centers around price only – and you feel your heart sinking as you start to wonder if it’s worth it.

– You and your prospect are engaged in a discussion and, by the looks of it, she’s ready to buy. But something inside you – call it intuition, gut feeling or something else – tells you something is off. There’s something about her that makes you question if you should take her on – or if you’ll be better off walking away.

If these are scenarios that you can relate to, I wonder how you commonly choose to deal with them?

Because the way I see it, you have a clear choice here:

You could either go out of your way to turn that prospect into a paying client. Even if it means lowering your prices, going against your intuition or having to struggle with communication – already from the outset.

Or, you could decide that it’s not worth it. That you’d rather hold out for a client that gets you, is ready to pay your price and feels fun and easy to work with.

I know that some consider it indefensible to turn away a potential deal. But I don’t agree. I believe that being PICKY with your clients is a smart way to GROW your business.

I know from first-hand experience that taking on a customer who is anything but your ideal client, might end up costing you way more than what you’re getting. Here are some of my client horror stories from the past:

– A customer who kept on changing the scope and the goals of the project as we went along.

– A client who refused to pay the full invoice and started to price haggle AFTER the project was completed.

– A customer who couldn’t define the success factors of the project yet was clear that she wasn’t getting what she wanted.

These horror stories have one thing in common: I knew that they would be trouble – AND I decided to take them on anyway. The result: too much time spent for too little money and WAY too much stress. That’s clearly not an equation that makes sense!

I could have made much more money in a much shorter time while having much more fun, by turning these guys away and focusing on attracting the right customers.

This is why I’m adamant in encouraging my customers to define their ideal client. And I mean really define! Not just on a macro level – like where they live, how old they are, what they do and what spending power they have.

But on a personal, micro level. Who IS that person who you want to serve? Imagine her. Imagine her life. Think about what kind of personality she has. What values drive her. What her everyday life looks like. What hopes and dreams she has. What problems and challenges she is facing. What she’s struggling with.

I know that it can be scary and feel counter intuitive to try and limit your target audience in this way. It might feel like you’re going after that ONE person. And clearly, you want more than just a single customer. 😉 But here’s the thing:

With clarity comes focus. And with focus, you can make wise choices. You can quickly scan your prospect and ask yourself: does this person match my ideal client? Do I believe that I can serve her in the best possible way? And do I believe that she will respect me and value the work that I do for her?

By having your ideal client crystal clear to you, you will save time, make more money, feel better – and best of all, have happier customers!

Can you think of a better way to create sustainable business growth? I know I can’t! 😊

Sanna Koritz Outside Cafe

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