Client services businesses of any sort – agencies, consulting, etc. – can be very rewarding business models when done right. When done poorly, they can not only suck the life out of you (invasion of your personal time, not following through on recommendations, disputing charges…anyone?!), but also end up being a poor business model with very little margin in it. How do you fix it? One simple decision is the answer to almost all of the problems you’ll potentially face in a client services business, and it’s illustrated perfectly in this recent chat conversation with one of our long time customers:
You must be able to walk away from clients that don’t fit your model, appreciate your services, or pay on time.
The ability to say ‘NO’ and walk away from bad client relationships is the single most profitable decision you’ll make in any client services business.
And yet, the far majority of people that hear this advice fail to execute on it.
The reason really comes down to fear.
- Fear that there won’t be another client to come along if you turn down this one…
- Fear that it will hurt your reputation if you refuse to work with someone…
- Fear that if you raise your standards, you won’t find anyone willing to work with you…
- Fear that this decision to walk away can’t possibly have all of the great benefits Mike says it will!
But when you have the guts to set a standard and operate by it, clients respect you. They see you as an expert and professional that can’t be messed with, which creates a healthy dynamic in your relationship with them where they respect your time, your decisions, and your advice.
When every client at your business is in that position, everything gets easier, and your business gets way more profitable.
Trust me and do it – you’ll thank me later!