When you're running a business, it's easy to have the mindset that a client is a client. As an inbound marketing agency, we've had clients that are fabulous and those who we want to avoid. In this post, we'll discuss the three types of clients and how they benefit or harm your business' outlook and bottom line.
Three Types of ClientsYou want to build your client base with the right clients. Here are three types of clients and how they affect your business:
- Core Clients – These are your best clients, the ones you want to gather and retain to keep your business doing its best. Core clients value your products and services, and are willing to pay an appropriate price for the value they're receiving. They tend to retain your services for a long period of time and generate the most profit for the business.
- Opportunistic Clients – These clients are looking for an opportunity for themselves and see your products and services as a commodity. They'll expect you to not only match, but be lower than competitor's pricing. They'll also ask you to provide them with products and services that are outside of your sweet spot, cutting into your bottom line and increasing your overhead. They have no loyalty to your business and are generally your unprofitable clients. They're a distraction to getting things done and cost you money - fire them.
- Must-Have Clients – These clients could become your core clients but are currently doing business with your competition. This is the group you need to focus on to profitably grow your business. They are your future core clients.
Firing the Wrong Clients
As business owners, we've all heard people say that all clients need to be retained, but that's just not the case. Because opportunistic clients make their decisions based on price points while demanding special services, it is virtually impossible to gain their loyalty and return business. Trying to turn them into core clients who truly value your products and services is virtually impossible, so fire them.
Attracting the Right Clients
To attract core clients, you need to know who they are and why they value your products and services. Once you understand that, it's time to focus on potential clients who share their needs and values. By clarifying this, you'll know who your must-have clients are and focus on attracting and retaining those clients.
Adapted from the book The Must-Have Customer