When times are not very good for your business, or you just don’t care much about the quality of your cooperation with clients (which is bad), you tend to take on every client which shows up on your horizon. And these people or companies are often far from your ideal customers.
In order to help you filter out the customers you are likely to have more trouble than profit with, here are 9 important signs to watch out for:
- The work is outside your practice area. Think about if you really need to take up this order as you have no experience of doing this kind of things even if they look easy at first glance. You may spend too much time on such a customer. Check this issue while making the screening call in the beginning.
- The scope of work isn’t acceptable for you presently. The order may be too large and complex and need more resources than you have. You may use this as a chance to refer this work to your business partners or outsource some part of work to them.
- The client expectations are not realistic. Always try to make it clear about what you can do, how you work, what you expect from your clients, etc. Avoid the client who demands you to do something you don’t feel quite comfortable with or just don’t want to do for some objective reasons.
- The customer can’t or just don’t want to pay some reasonable fee. If the customer argues over the fee amount or doesn’t agree on your payment schedule, maybe you shouldn’t work with them.
- The customer changed vendors several times. If the same order hasn’t been accomplished by the range of other similar companies, don’t be sure you’ll manage it. In most cases the reason is in the customer that other vendors didn’t want to take up the order.
- The customer is unreliable and over demanding. Is your client late for meetings, demands immediate attention whenever they need it, constantly makes excuses about some unfulfilled promises? Even if you stand this attitude, beware of the unexpected outcome of the deal.
- The client asks that you skip some steps and lower his costs. You are not recommended to do this if you have a proved and systematized procedure of doing your work. Some customers look for ways of doing a part of work themselves. Agree to this only if you are comfortable about it and the customer’s really reliable.
- The customer doesn’t understand or listen to your initial instructions. It’s not very pleasant to work with a customer who is often being distracted or tries to teach you how to do your job without any experience in it. Besides, this may cause many misunderstandings. Consider carefully whether your efforts to get through to such a client are really worth it.
When you are able to immediately tell good customers from bad ones, you get an opportunity to succeed in your business even more.