Choose Your Clients

Just spent a fabulous week in Singapore … what a great city. Went there for a holiday but ended up accidentally doing some business, which is always nice. We spent the first three days at a five star hotel, which was … a five star hotel. And it’s weird, but I still feel like it’s too expensive if there isn’t a client paying for it. Even though I didn’t ask it to, my brain started calculating the hourly cost of being in the hotel and then working it out for the waking hours, coming up with a number that didn’t thrill me. I think it’s an illness.

We then found a fabulous home on Air B&B staying with Bianca. Half the price, and twice the experience. But I digress.

Bianca told me something very interesting – she rejects 40% of the people who want to stay with her. 40%!, which means that Trish and I are in the top 60% of her applicants … put that on my resume.

How cool is that … her whole attitude is that if people are staying in her house, she wants to enjoy the experience. If someone sends her an email that just says “We need a room for 2 people” she knows that they are not her sort of people. It isn’t friendly. As she says, it’s the sort of request you make to a hotel, not a homestay. So she trusts her gut and she says no.

In the Sell Your Thoughts book we talk about doing work you love with people you like in the way you want. Bianca is the personification of this … she only wants to do business with people she likes.

I think most of us could learn from this. Part of the sales model I teach is to Choose Your Clients, but rejecting 40% has raised the bar for me. If someone is willing to pay you, often the path of least resistance is to say no. I had a mentoring session last week with a client who listed four reasons why he shouldn’t have taken on the client that he did, and we spent half the session working out how to clean up the mess.

So when you go into a sales meeting, make sure you are choosing your clients. Have part of your sales system be the point where you choose. Have a strategy for rejecting the clients that aren’t a fit.

I promise you two things will happen. Life will get better as you do more work with people you like. And paradoxically you will become more effective at selling as you’ll become more attractive. Notice your reaction when I said that Bianca rejects 40% of requests … didn’t that make her more attractive? Part of you wanted to be in the 60%. The same will happen with you when you choose your clients, and more importantly are willing to say no to the ones you don’t choose.

Love to hear your thoughts and experiences – you can leave your comments below.