How to pick the worst clients

If a strategy is about knowing what not to do, then client profiles are about knowing who not to target. 

Much of this will happen as a process of exclusion as you build your Customer Profile. 

But that is not enough. There are certain traits you want to look out for, that make universally bad clients. 

Clients who don’t communicate

If you don’t know what they are thinking, you can’t make them happy. 

These are the clients who simply don’t respond to emails, voicemails, and texts. You need something from them, and you just… never get it. 

But also includes the clients that communicate incorrectly. 

When you ask a yes or no question, receive a 10-minute monologue as an answer, and as you reflect on the information you realize that they never actually answered your question. 

Or you ask for a detailed answer, and the client sends you two words that don’t even begin to give you the knowledge you need. 

Clients who don’t know what they want

If they don’t know what they are thinking, you can’t make them happy. 

When a client can not make a concrete and firm decision, they are setting you up for failure. If they give you instructions just for the sake of it, they are more likely to look back on your work six months later and decide it was no good. 

This is the client who asks for endless revisions or remakes. Or the client who can never make up their mind

But is also the client who loves everything you do without question. They should have at least a question, a comment, a request, as they analyze and sign off on your work. 

Clients who don’t pay

But they always have a “reason”. 

Every client is allowed a glitch, a distraction, a moment’s error. 

When every single invoice is a problem: that is different. 

Don’t spend time on clients who never pay, or never pay on time, or never accept an invoice without querying what’s on it. Once they show you a pattern of pay-resistant behavior, it is time to move on. 

Choose your clients

Your clients are allowed to choose whether to work with you. 

And you are allowed to choose whether to work with your clients. 

You will do better work, enjoy it more, and learn more for the next client when you are working with your best – most loyal – customers. 

Learn to identify, attract, and work with your best clients.

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