Five Types of Clients to Stay Away From
The truth of the matter is that many entrepreneurs are simply desperate to find new clients. The only way to grow your business and to increase your bottom line is to constantly expand your client base, but this can often be easier said than done. When you are running a service based business, the challenge is compounded because you are not pushing new products on customers, you are in a sense basically selling yourself. Chances are you might be excellent at what you provide customers, but terrible at the same time selling yourself.
Chances are in this scenario you have already bought into the belief that every client is a good client. If you want to continue to grow your business without stalling out constantly, consider these five types of clients to stay.
1. The Scamming Client
This name simply implies that this particular type of client has every intention of getting your service without having to spend any money for it. You fawn all over this client because of all their big promises of future work or connections they say they have, and you fall into the trap of providing them a sample of your services before they lay out any money. Usually the conversation will go along the lines of, “If we like your service, we have plenty of work to give you”. Soon after they receive your service or product, you never hear or see them again. If a new client appears to have cash-flow concerns or is hesitant to sign any written agreements, take a pass and focus on clients who are serious about compensating you for your hard work.
2. The Abusive Client
To the dismay of many business owners, there are in fact many potential clients who have little or no respect for you and your business. These customers are not only a drain on your time, they are a drain on your resources too. They are constantly requesting lower pricing even though they have zero buying history with your company. They are constantly waiting until the last minute to cancel any meetings, or they arrive late when they are scheduled to meet with you. If you have a contract with them, they will try everything possible to change the terms of the agreement without increasing the money due for those services. The bottom-line is they do not respect you, so you should not waste your resources on them.
3. The Sponge Client
Here is a client that will quickly drain you of your energy each day, often right at the onset of doing business. The sponge client doesn’t want to pay for your services, they feel that you should be providing it for free to them because they are giving you valuable experience in your industry. They expect you to show up to their company and provide your service to their staff, helping them to become better employees, and building up your skills at the same time. The key to identifying this type of client is seeing they expect free things from you right from the beginning. While it might be fine to offer free services occasionally to certain clients, this needs to be of your choice, not theirs. Try to stop being lured into giving anything away for free until you have an established relationship or they will come to expect it free forever.
4. The Clueless Client
The clueless client are the most challenging for business owners because they demand the most attention, then complain each time things do not meet their expectations. They demand you hold their hand throughout the entire ordering process, they make several changes along the way, and they are always disappointed in the end result. The reason they are disappointed is because they made so many changes they forgot exactly what they wanted in the first place. You are expected to be a mind reader and simply cannot win in the end regardless how much time or effort you put into the project. Their requirements are constantly changing, and your efforts are better spend elsewhere.
5. The Unreliable Client
The unreliable client expects the end result of the product to be exactly what they envision in their mind, but they are often unwilling to give you the time to be able to study data needed to make the project a success. When you find yourself constantly requesting information to complete the project and are met with a stone wall, your company wastes valuable time asking time and time again for the information needed to complete the task. The longer you wait, the closer the deadline approaches, until finally you either don’t deliver a completed project or one the client is unhappy with.
If you are trying to grow your business and encounter any of these types of clients, it is in your best interest to focus your efforts on more productive and responsive clients.
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This thought-provoking Human Resource article was provided by Tracksmart, a leader in technology for small companies.
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