If you’ve been self-employed for a few years, then you know how beneficial it is to acquire the right clients. You probably also know what it’s like when you make the mistake of working with the wrong ones.
Trying to serve clients who just aren’t a match for you is a painful drain on your time and energy. Make the mistake of taking on too many of them and they’ll devour your productivity and profits – like hungry zombies on a brain binge.
The good news? You’re self-employed. That’s right, you can simply choose not to work with zombie clients.
Here’s my personal approach to identifying and eliminating the zombies. If any of the following issues apply to a client (or a prospective client), then I know I need to move on:
Z – Zero urgency about the need for growth. My services are all about helping clients to grow their sales and profits, so a lack of urgency on their part is a deal killer.
O – Opportunities requiring change are considered too risky. If a business owner clings firmly to the status quo, then they’re not going to make the changes required to take advantage of new growth opportunities.
M – Making excuses for poor performance. Business owners who don’t take responsibility for their failures and learn from them will never be successful long-term. There’s nothing I can do for them.
B – Betting on word-of-mouth alone for new business. Betting isn’t a substitute for working a plan. Proactive people will embrace the new business development strategies I teach. Gamblers probably won’t.
I – Interest in learning new skills is low. As self-employed professionals, nothing gets much better unless we do. I can’t help someone if they’re looking for better results without improving their approach.
E – Extreme price sensitivity. You know the old saying – “You get what you pay for.” Well, it’s true.
Weeding out the zombies isn’t always easy, and the approach you take will need to fit you and your unique situation. But learning to do this well can help you protect your productivity, profitability, and possibly your sanity.