You may be doing everything right – publishing useful blog posts, interacting on social media, sending out a newsletter…having worked on your ideal client profiles beforehand, of course – and yet still something’s not quite right.
The kinds of clients you seem to attract are just not quite right yet. They’re close – they love you, they know they need you, they pay you (but perhaps not as much as you’d like) and they rave about you, even sending you referrals and more and more of your not-quite-right clients. Gah!
Why is this? What are you doing wrong? And how can you change things?
Did you know that there are a few more subtle signals you could be sending out which are attracting the kinds of client you don’t actually want? Here are a few you may be sending out right now…
#1 Your Pricing
Hitting that sweet spot on pricing is tricky because it communicates so much – too high and people often expect a ton of hand-holding and an über premium service for you to be at their beck and call 24/7, too low and you’re likely to attract those who buy purely on price and not on the value you provide.
If you’re currently struggling with a base of low-paying customers who demand ever-more from you but refuse to pay you more, then you’re pricing too low, over-delivering and not respecting your own boundaries.
If you’re currently struggling with a base of premium-paying customers who demand ever-more from you because of what they’re paying, then you’ve:
- Not identified some of the more subtle components of your ideal client profiles, the aspects such as core values, beliefs, behaviours and even manners or how they treat people. Go back and do this – focus on the type of person you’d like to work with, the deeper values and beliefs and not just the superficial characteristics.
- Not communicated nor respected your boundaries. Go back and review how you’ve described what you offer (see point #3 below).
Your pricing can communicate all manner of things – much of them far deeper than most people realise. At the heart it’s about value…and defining what this means to you, your business and your clients & customers.
#2 How You Deliver Your Offering
The format in which you deliver what you offer can determine the type of client which is attracted to your business…
If you’re currently struggling with the kinds of customers who need a lot of hand holding and support, look at how you deliver what you offer…
…one to one, in a group, online, offline? Do you send reminders and follow-ups? Do you chase customers and clients to do what they agree/promised? How much are you encouraging – even inviting – customers to need this?
It can be incredibly frustrating to work with people – especially other business owners/entrepreneurs – who need that kind of support, even if it’s what you planned to offer in the first place, but especially so if you didn’t.
It’s why most of our current offerings are “pull” or self-service options – they are designed to attract and encourage our clients and customers to access the support when they need it, not have it spoon fed to them.
This naturally attracts the more go-getting, proactive type of person versus those who need more hand holding and cajoling – I specifically want to work with people who are driven, don’t need to be spoon fed and are adult, mature and entrepreneurial enough to ask for help when they need it.
If you’re attracting the wrong kind of client, take a look at how you’re offering your services and what kinds of messages this is sending to the type of people who are attracted to it.
Could it be that you don’t actually want this kind of client at all, and need to adjust how you deliver what you’re offering?
#3 How You Describe Your Offering
The language you use and how you describe your offering could also be sending specific messages to potential clients.
If you frequently struggle with people who ask for more than you planned to offer, the chances are you’ve not been explicit enough and left things open to interpretation or questioning in your description of your services.
This can attract the type of client who is less structured and not detail-oriented themselves, who doesn’t know what they do/don’t need and therefore it leaves you open to ongoing requests which weren’t in your original plan.
If in doubt, be explicit. Explain everything and never expect or assume customers will just know.
For every programme, service or product that you offer state exactly what is and what isn’t included – it’ll save you from plenty of future headaches and the need to constantly draw and re-draw (or communicate) your boundaries.
The bottom line is this: If your customer/client base is currently less-than-ideal then it’s highly likely to be something you’re doing or not doing to attract them.
Identify what this is and correct it…and get ready to welcome the types of clients who you love and who love you right back ;)