I talk a lot about ideal clients; but how do you spot them when you see them?
And how do you quickly identify NOT ideal clients?
Now I am so aware that I can identify an ideal or NOT ideal client simply by a gut feeling. I often know before I even talk to them. My gut has a sinking feeling (red flag!), or I feel a deep sense of delight and confidence. When I feel the latter, I know I am in ideal client territory!
It wasn't always this easy.
In fact, before I knew that it was possible to work in a business full of ideal clients, I would feel those red flag feelings and ignore them. Or worse, I'd interpret them to mean there was something wrong with ME, and I needed to hit the books, take some more classes, and get better at coaching.
But the truth was I could never get better enough to help someone who didn't want to be helped, who was negative, or didn't trust me. And why was I putting so much focus on them, instead of the clients who energized me and treated their business growth seriously?
That's when a particularly NOT-ideal client made an impression on me. I could tell even in the consultation process that this was probably going to be difficult. Instead of one consultation, this client required four. I would describe her as negative and skeptical. And that set off a chain reaction where I felt like I continually had to prove myself.
In my younger years, I thought proving myself was a normal and necessary, although I've come to realize that feeling like I need to prove myself at all is a red flag too. It's not about proving yourself to your prospects, but understanding their needs and if you are a good fit to help them get the results they are looking for.
In any event, after months of struggle and many hours invested, the client asked for her money back. Mistake number #2, I was so certain that I could help, I offered a "Money Back Guarantee." This can work for some products, but in the case of an ongoing coaching experience, where the client will multiply their results when they are more invested (financially and otherwise), I believe the guarantee de-motivated the client, and allowed her to blame me for her lack of progress.
After that experience, I vowed not to work with a NOT ideal client again. And I haven't. And it has been great!
You don't need anything to start only working with your favorite clients now except your intention. You don't need a certain amount of money or clients to say no to clients who are not right for you. The cost of working with people who are a bad fit is too great, and they steal away precious space and time from your ideal clients.
I want to leave you with a visceral idea of how great it can be to share your talents, passion, and time with your ideal clients.
Here is an excerpt from an unsolicited email from one of my clients this past weekend (thanks Amber, for giving me permission to share it!)
Your workshop was so fun and engaging. What you do is very difficult for MOST people and you glide though the presentation process like you are in your comfort zone, like it is a walk in the park with baby birds chirping and singing. 🙂 You are fabulously, gorgeously, and extraordinarily AMAZING!
The value and support you offer is beyond price, beyond measure, and gloriously beneficial and useful.
You are something very special. I'm so very grateful to have met you, and to get to learn from you.
Mucho AMORE! Happy Easter!