The ideal client means bringing the perfect person to you. When you focus on the ideal client, a lot of your other concerns will fall away. You might think, I don’t want to bother people. I don’t want to be weird about it. I don’t want to bore people.
If you’re talking to your ideal client, you won’t. It’s a little like if you’re looking for the perfect spouse or partner. When you find your perfect partner, they love how you’re dressed and they love what you’re saying. They’re interested in you. They want to know more. They’re eager to do the things that you like to do.
So that’s the first thing I want you to remember- no matter who you’re looking for, if it’s a team member, if it’s a partner, if it’s an audience or a client, we’re not looking for everybody. We’re looking for the right person, the perfect fit. It doesn’t mean they’re a perfect person- it means they’re a perfect fit.
What are the qualities of an ideal client?
Number one, they need you. Who specifically is an immediate need? And what are they doing? It’s demonstrating that they know they need you. They’ve already done half your work for you, because they’re looking for you.
They’re demonstrating through their behavior that they can pay you. It might be a stretch, that’s fine, but they can pay you. If they’ve come to the point where they’re having a conversation with you or they’re on their website, they’ve walked in the door. They can pay you.
And as I often say to people who are worried, like, Oh, I don’t think my people can pay that much. I don’t think my people will afford that. I don’t think my people can do that. I have something to say a little strongly because I want you to remember this.
Get your fucking hands out of their fucking wallet.
You don’t know how much money they have. You don’t know what they’re spending it on and it’s none of your business in the same way that it’s none of their business what you’re spending your money on. What I noticed is that people find the money for the things that are important to them. And that action of figuring it out, of finding the money, is part of the investment. It’s part of what makes the experience special.
Every time I raised my prices, my ideal clients stayed with me and the crappy customers dropped off. I always made more money with less hassle. There’s a principle called the Pareto principle. You might’ve heard of it. It’s the 80-20 rule.
It’s one of those naturally occurring mathematical phenomenon that say you wear 20% of your wardrobe 80% of the time. And in your business, 80% of your revenue comes from the top 20% of your clients. So you can afford to fire the bottom half of your client list and you will make exactly the same amount of money, probably more, because those lower-end clients tend to be a real drag.
They tend to nickel and dime. They tend to want more than you want to give. They tend to not appreciate what you’re up to.
Nothing is more expensive than a bad client.
I always say sales is a sacred exchange of energy. You are coming with your product, your service, your expertise, your time. The client has to come with their energy, their desire and their money. That’s what makes it an exchange. If you’re giving and they’re not paying, it’s like you’re giving a hug to somebody who’s just standing there.
That is not a sacred exchange of energy. That does not feel good. It doesn’t feel good to you. And it doesn’t feel good to them.
Back to the ideal client. So, they need you. They know they need you. They are demonstrating through their behavior that they need you and they can pay you. And, they share your value system.
Now they don’t need to share all of your values, right? You don’t need to agree politically on things (or maybe you do, depending on what it is you do) but they need to laugh at your jokes because laughing at jokes mean reflects a shared worldview. It means we’re on the same page. So go out there and find the right people.
Ask yourself these questions:
What are the things that are most important to you? What are the things that underpin everything that you do? And when you get a little more public about that, the people who vibe with you will find you. When you are putting out a clear, authentic message about who you are and what you do, you become like the whistle only dogs can hear. The people who love you and need you will find you, and the people who do not love you and do not need you will not find you, which is even better.