There are no ‘good’ clients. Yup, I said it.
There are no GOOD clients, there are only clients.
I have been learning AND implementing the structures that create a framework for ensuring that any client that hires you becomes a GOOD client. Here are some conclusions coming out of that.
Continue tweaking your message – ALWAYS
You can continuously craft and tweak your message to get the right fit of clients – clients for whom their needs more closely match the services and products that you provide.
There are always clues somewhere –
: the things that people might call you and ask for – if too many people are asking for things you don’t provide then the messaging still needs adjusting..
: the feedback that clients give to you – when people describe your service offering, as much as they talk about HOW you do it, do they also accurately describe WHAT you do? No? Then, yea, messaging needs fixing.
: your failures when dealing/interacting with clients (contemplate the source of these failures..) – nothing fixes you faster than failing. Ever had to fire a client or walk away from a project? It or they* wasn’t a good fit? Messaging..what are you not saying about who you are and what you provide..about your value.
Ask – don’t expect
What do you want exactly from this project? Probe your experiences from the past to make sure that fail safes are put in place to ensure the project stays on time, on scope and that there is a mutual exchange of value. Be very clear about what you are going to provide, otherwise the client will determine that for you, but how can they determine that when they are not the service provider? Herein lies the reason why many clients become bad clients, because they are given room to ask or expect that which is either not promised or unclearly communicated.
Fine Print..Fine Print..Fine Print
Write it ALL up. It is not just to ‘keep people in line’. I have taken so much for granted when dealing with clients in the past. It is MY responsibility to ensure that clients understand the parameters within which my service extends, and the exact features of my package offerings.
Stick to the fine print. It is truly a WIN-WIN.