I have a confession to make. Over the last decade I’ve had some of the worst clients you can ever imagine.
I’ve been told:
- My training/consulting did nothing for them
- What I shared they knew it all already
- They’ve heard it all before
The list goes on.
These clients have been the biggest pain in my _____.
They caused sleepless nights, they made me roll my eyes so much I would get dizzy and they puked negativity at me because perhaps their wife or husband needed a day off from their complaining.
When I reflect, I can see with crystal clarity that on some level I let them in and broke on one or more of my own values.
- I knew them already, so I made exceptions to the rules
- They owed me money, so weirdly I felt they had leverage over me (money beliefs back then)
- They held the keys to having another logo on my website, another big company to add to the portofolio
It was only after years of making exceptions to the rule, that I realised you break the biggest rule of all.
Being true to the clients who are right for you.
- Each time you discount for one client, you’re subconsciously telling your entire market you’re not worth the amount you promote
- Every decision to work with someone who isn’t right, will lower your self esteem
- You’re firefighting and simply trying to survive and deep down you know it
The totally messed up thing is how you can wind up getting so deep into the survival and bad client game, you wind up forgetting why you even started your business or what your ultimate vision is.
Saying “yes” to bad clients, is also saying “no” to your ultimate potential.
It took me years of making compromises, having sympathy and pretending it was empathy (common mistake for those I see who discount.)
I forget the precise moment, because likely it wasn’t just one moment where I made a decision to step fully into what I do.
And this decision changed everything.
- Being able to say “no” even if I needed the money (and there were times where I really needed the money)
- Not being phased on my own prices, despite the emotional connection I had to the person enquiry
- Finally having 100% focus on exactly what I’m meant to do, instead of being caught up in mood hoover activities and dealing with energy vampires
Have I accidentally had a few bad clients since? 100%
Is it all about making a generic mindset shift? No, if you believe that, then you massively oversimplifying.
Strategic thinking, systems and building out the right solutions have all played integral roles which are now the very foundations of how we do things as a business.
The cool thing is, if I want to serve people at the start of their journey and are price sensitive, I have a way to help them to get started which requires zero time from me.
If I want to help high value clients who are serious about levelling up their company, there’s already a consultative process in place.
Systemising + making the shift to escape the game of survival + actually committing = brings real results.
The chances are, if you’re still dealing with shitty clients it’s because:
- You’re stuck in fighting the next fire
- You haven’t yet created a long term strategy
- You break on your values because you don’t have confidence or belief you can do and achieve a lot more
- You haven’t systemised
It might seem that person or company who are willing to pay you £3000 right now will help you pay the bills you have next week, but guess what happens next month?
Same behaviour = same results = same problems.
Ultimately, you can simplify this entire post by saying long term strategy will always help you further than short term firefighting.
At least if you’re trying to build something more than a headache that is.
What can you do today to ensure you’re building deep foundations for your business, as opposed to dealing with short term difficult clients?