Do you love a trip to the races as much as me?
Dressing up to the nines, with a few spare bob in your pocket and a foolproof system for picking a winner makes for a great day out. Then, even when your gigi with the double entendre for a name turns out to be a three legged nag and limps in 20 minutes after the field, it doesn’t dampen the joy does it?
But, when it comes to picking a winning prospect that isn’t a three-legged nag do you use the same approach? Can you say you really stop yourself throwing your precious resources at prospects who will never deliver for you and even more challenging, stop them draining you?
Like a gambler on a losing streak thinking each failure makes a winner more likely it’s all too easy to start investing your limited time and money on prospects that you shouldn’t. But bad bets are bad bets and bad clients are bad clients, whatever the market conditions; they will drain your precious time, are more risky and deliver you less profit – who wants that?
So if you need to reject non-ideal clients to get through a tough market then what is the way forward? Well to start with: -
- strip out the waste: make costs savings where you can, but without affecting the quality of your service
- innovate to become more effective and free up time; new technology is a good place to start
- spend that new free-time to dramatically increase your sales activity.
Don’t take on bad business; it will only make things worse not better!
Spot the winners.
Start by analysing your current clients and picking out the winners. They’re the opposite of the “bad” clients: lower risk, easier to work with and more profitable.
Next, look at the characteristics of these clients, paying special attention to the personality, goals and values of the decision makers but not forgetting to put the firms purchasing process, size and sector into the equation.
Lastly, educate your sales people and your marketers to identify more prospects with these qualities. Difficult for them to do without starting a relationship but keeping these qualities in mind from the start will make it easier.
Dodge the losers
This is easy, when you spot a loser close the relationship down. Immediately. And if they ask you to supply just say no, be brave: you’ll be glad you were in the long run.
Remember: nobody makes you do bad business, or engage with bad clients, except you!