Last week I talked about spending more time thinking so that we can make better decisions. One of the categories of decisions that I see the least thinking about is new business decisions.
When someone wants to talk to us about starting a new project, there is no pause – just a pavlovian response, “When can we set that up?”
There’s nothing more destructive to a creative firm than the wrong client.
We’ve all had one, the client who:
- Has expectations that are off the chart, backed up by a paltry budget.
- Knows better than you do “what will work”
- Convinces you do toss your proven process into the trash and “do things my way”
That client demoralizes your staff, drains your bank account, and diminishes your confidence. It’s one of the costliest mistakes you can make.
As our markets open back up and the economy starts roaring again, the most important thing you can do is to be picky!
A crucial thing to realize is that being picky doesn’t just protect you and your firm; it makes you more desirable!
Don’t believe me?
- Why are there red velvet rope lines out in front of nightclubs?
- Why are there gold credit cards, and platinum credit cards, and black credit cards?
- Why do the most expensive universities get more applicants?
Desperation is repulsive, but thoughtful consideration is powerfully attractive.
How can you structure your new business process to introduce a pause where you consider, “Is this the right client for us?” What characteristics can you see from the start that indicate to you that this will be a terrific client for us?