Certain types of clients really aren't worth the effort that it takes to satisfy them. Problematic clients bring with them a number of different issues that are really best avoided. These people tend to be harder to please, require more time and effort that is justified and ultimately result in less money for your company. When putting together and operating your business, you’re definitely going to want to separate the high quality clients from the sub-par ones as quickly as possible. Doing so will save you a great deal of headaches (and heartaches probably!) and will lead to better work overall. All you really need to do is look for a few key qualities to make sure you’re not getting in over your head.
Meet Before You Commit
One aspect of doing business that you should absolutely start doing is actually meeting with your clients before you book them. You might be surprised to learn that many companies actually accept business from clients without an up-front meeting, which can definitely lead to issues down the road. Meeting with clients beforehand gives you a good chance to feel them out. You can find out exactly what type of work they expect and get a fairly accurate gauge of how easy it will be to do business with these people. If a particular client doesn't quite mesh with how you work or the type of work that you do, you can cut your ties immediately before you get too far involved in the process.
Identify Quality Clients
You also need to take time to clearly define to yourself what it means for a client to be of a certain quality. Think about your current standards and how they actually reflect the ways in which you do business. Make a list of the attributes that make up a high quality client. At the same time, write down some of the factors that would make you not want to work with someone. You can’t have any success at separating the quality from the crap with regards to your clients if you don’t accurately define those two terms for yourself. Keep in mind that what is a “quality client” for one person may not be the same in terms of characteristics for another person.
One big factor that goes into obtaining quality clients is actually the quality of work that you do on a regular basis. If you are consistently meeting client requests, providing excellent customer service and generally easy to work with yourself, you will find more often than not that your clients are happy and open to criticism. If you close yourself off or aren't putting your best foot forward, the attitudes of the clients themselves will likely reflect that nature.
When meeting with clients, it is always important to remember which person is playing what role while business is being conducted. Always remember that you’re the one doing the actual work. If you need to be stern with a particular client to get something great accomplished, don’t be afraid to do so. How you conduct business, regardless of the quality of work, will go a long way towards how your clients behave in business situations. Some clients may be put off by or unwilling to work with a more forceful approach. However, the clients that remain will likely be of a higher quality because they will know that sometimes you need to be stern to turn out quality work that meets expectations on a consistent basis. The ones that don’t take to that type of attitude will likely excuse themselves from the scenario, which in turn saves you the trouble of cutting them loose at a later time in a much more awkward way. Separating the high quality clients from the crappy ones is not an easy thing to do, but the effort you put into this process is well worth the outcome. The happiness and satisfaction you get from working for these 'quality' clients will make your day - every day!