I once jokingly (but not really) told my business coach that I wanted new clients to sign a “communications agreement” that detailed the issues of inviting too many marketing opinions into the room and how best our relationship could work (this was obviously in response to a bad client situation where our work was stalled for moooooonths because said client was asking everyone in line behind them at Harris Teeter what they should do for their marketing).
He told me that it was a bad idea and that clients would not be cool with it. At all. (He also said some other stuff that wasn’t completely untrue). So I tabled it in the back of my mind. However, now, I use that “communications agreement” as a checklist of red flags during the sales process. I’m weeding out prospects faster and not even feeling bad about.
If you don’t have a list of what makes an “ideal” client, you should. Learn from my mistakes, and ask yourself:
Does this person take a long time making decisions?
Does this person know their budget for my services?
Has this person shopped around and have an idea what specific items should cost? (i.e. Do they know the range of cost for a website? Do they know the range of cost for a quality logo?) [What you’re looking for here: do they see the VALUE that I bring?]
Has this person been doing your service for an extended period of time? (Not if they’ve been successful, but just if they’ve been doing it…)
Do they have someone in their family (or close friend) who is also in your industry? (Bonus points if that person is in New York or L.A.)
Do you see a similar pattern in personality traits here? You should. The more of these traits that your prospect exhibits, the quicker you should change lanes and find an exit immediately.
Are there outliers? Sure, but that’s not the norm. And although no client is perfect, some are more perfect than others.
Share with us - what have been some other red flags you’ve come across?