How do you determine whether a client is right for you?

11 replies
Hi Everyone,

I have recently updated my website and restructured my business a little, I have grown over the past few years and it was time to reorganise things a little be and be more structured on the way I took new jobs and did projects.

I was speaking with a couple of colleagues and they have a bit of a process for accepting clients and filtering out the time wasters.

Here is an example one of my colleagues showed me that she is looking to integrate into her website Get Started - Troy Dean

My question is, do you have a check list of a set of mandatory steps for determining if a client is the 'right' fit for your business or style?

I like this idea, and while I wouldn't be so rigid, I think it could weed out some of the tyre kickers and provide potential clients with the opportunity to have a clear project in mind before we commence work.

What are your thoughts?

If anyone has a process they are willing to share I'd love to hear about it.
#client #determine
  • Profile picture of the author neshaword
    I just saw Troy Dean's list. He means serious business. Yet, I have to admit that I'm still struggling to position myself in my industry. Meaning, I just can't afford to be picky right now. So, I don't have too many clients to choose from in terms of the maximum benefits I can expect from some of them. My main focus is currently to avoid "trouble makers." I need clients who want to get the job done, for real. Some of them think that my admiration and blind obedience is included in the price. So, for the time being, I have to follow my freelance sixth sense in determining whether or not a client is the right match for me. Have to be careful when and how we invest our time. What do you think?
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    • Profile picture of the author gingerninjas
      Originally Posted by neshaword View Post

      I just saw Troy Dean's list. He means serious business.
      He does mean business, and some of my colleagues are softening up their wording of this however the crux remains the same, they do want to determine if people can be weeded out in the early stages to ensure they are 'ready' to start working with them.

      I am not saying this is a process that suits everyone however it is a interesting process and opened my eyes a little and turned the tables somewhat on what I am used to.
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      • Profile picture of the author neshaword
        Originally Posted by gingerninjas View Post

        He does mean business, and some of my colleagues are softening up their wording of this however the crux remains the same, they do want to determine if people can be weeded out in the early stages to ensure they are 'ready' to start working with them.

        I am not saying this is a process that suits everyone however it is a interesting process and opened my eyes a little and turned the tables somewhat on what I am used to.
        Agree. He's a little bit "brutal" for my taste, but at least he also helped me open my eyes and focus on the right type of clients. You can easily adjust his list for your specific type of business. No one needs time wasters and problem makers type of clients. Cheers.
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  • Profile picture of the author David Beroff
    Payment up front is a great start to a beautiful client relationship.
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    • Profile picture of the author gingerninjas
      Originally Posted by David Beroff View Post

      Payment up front is a great start to a beautiful client relationship.
      Agreed and after a few 'situations' of late, I am 100% with you there
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  • Profile picture of the author FinishMyGoals
    My thoughts are these: I make sure to have a discussion sharing my highest values, and see what they state. If they are about mutual respect, loyalty, ethics, being open, trust, and communicative, then we may have a chance. Is there a willingness to trying out things you suggest, and do we have the same vision for where we want this to go.

    I have not had clients, but employees I have done this with. I have also done this with friends and families to decide whom to spend more time with, and have more peace in life. What you truly put out there for what you stand for will repel those not meant for you, and attract those that feel the same,
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  • Profile picture of the author aizaku
    i think the answer can be found in the nuance between customer and client

    yes technically they are synonyms BUT

    customer is more of a one off where a client receives professional service or expertise

    its more of an ongoing relationship and like any relationship you need to exchange concessions and get used to each other.
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  • Profile picture of the author MrFume
    This is in fact the crux of the matter - clients/customers often have a particular picture of what they want to attain-this right there is where the interesting parts emerge. This 'picture' can change once that client is made aware of actually what is possible. Often a certain amount of education has to take place, meaning the customer/client is not necessarily aware of exactly what is possible due to their own specific education and experience. For me the ideal client is the one who is prepared to listen, and discuss. Those people who already think they know it all will not be a good fit. So my method of filtering clients rests on communication and determining if an exchange of information is in fact 'possible'.
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    • Profile picture of the author gingerninjas
      Originally Posted by MrFume View Post

      This is in fact the crux of the matter - clients/customers often have a particular picture of what they want to attain-this right there is where the interesting parts emerge. This 'picture' can change once that client is made aware of actually what is possible. Often a certain amount of education has to take place, meaning the customer/client is not necessarily aware of exactly what is possible due to their own specific education and experience. For me the ideal client is the one who is prepared to listen, and discuss. Those people who already think they know it all will not be a good fit. So my method of filtering clients rests on communication and determining if an exchange of information is in fact 'possible'.
      I know what you are saying, so the collaboration experience really helps you determine the fit and whether they are someone you would be willing to work with on going? It is quite hard to really know from a conversation sometimes..
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
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    I refuse to work with anyone that comes to me wanting help and then ask me for references. GTHO!





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  • Profile picture of the author vikash_kumar
    I believe, it will be different for everyone of us which will entirely depend on upon the situation we're in as far as the number of clients is concerned.

    A newbie can't refuse even a single lead..though an experienced person can refuse and pick someone with whom they can see some tuning going along.

    Every one of us can create such a list by our own past experiences where we find that people with certain qualities are almost always giving you a bad experience, thus to avoid them at any cost.

    Having said that, this is also a reality that we will find those bad ones every now and then..no matter how much filtering we do, it's just part of the game.
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