You only have so much time in a day and therefore can only serve a defined number of clients. If you sell direct to consumer and don’t know who your clients are, that’s a different story. But service based, business to business companies have to decide whom they want to serve.
It’s a common frustration that a client has gotten so difficult to work with that the business owner wishes they had never engaged with them. Maybe they are slow pay, or worse, no pay. Perhaps they are rude and overly demanding. Maybe they can never make up their mind and make changes they grumble about paying for. Maybe their own culture is so toxic that being in their midst is draining.
No question that these client nightmares need to be fired. But a better plan is not working with them in the first place.
How can you know from the start which ones will be a problem? By being very clear about your core values and viewing this prospective client in terms of how well they align with them.
If they don’t align, you can be certain that headaches and sleepless nights will be in your future. In my business, no amount of revenue is worth ignoring a core value mismatch. Your core values and their core values don’t have to be the same, but they do have to integrate well.
If you don’t know what yours are, that’s the first step. Figure that out. I have an exercise to help you do that in my book. It’s also work I do with clients. And finally, you can take a look at mine here as an example.
Another upside to having clarity about your core values is making it part of your brand. Then prospective clients know what they’re getting when they work with you.