Sometimes when I coach clients I get them to do actions they hate - one recent client wanted me to help him double his revenue. So he was quite clear about his goal but was not sure about creating a feasible action plan for achieving it. So that David isn't the only person in the country to hate me, why not try this for yourself?
Categorise your clients
Break your clients into:
- Type A ('loved what I do, paid me on time and told their friends'),
- Type B and
- Type C clients ('always complained, turned up late for appointments and b*tched about my fees').
Change how you find clients
Then I suggest you tell your Type A and B clients that you rely wholly on their word-of-mouth. Tell enquirers they can only become a new client if someone refers them. And a condition of them becoming a new client is that they have to refer at least 3 others to your business.
I believe that Type A customers are most likely to refer other Type A customers to you. Remembering that Type C customers waste your time, frustrate effort, increase costs, reduce profits, and generate pain and aggravation, I suggest you let someone else work with them.
Type A customers will come when you simply ask your existing customers to spread the word about why your product is special and why they appreciate you. Despite halving your customer base, you risk doubling your profits and reducing your wasted effort and costs. Are you up for it?
Adrian Pepper coaches people through business and personal difficulties, helping companies figure out what to do, how to move forward and what to get organised. You can contact him through Help 4 You Limited through his website at http://www.help4you.ltd.uk or by phone +44-7773-380133. At http://feeds.feedburner.com/help4you, you can listen to his podcast for small businesses.