When we first start a business, our instinct is to accept any potential client that comes our way. After all, we’re trying to build something big, and we need the clientele (and the money) to back it up! While this is an excellent strategy, in the beginning, it can backfire big time in the long run.
We’ve all engaged in a business relationship we knew was sour from the get-go. Something was off. We dreaded meeting with a specific client, and we ended up pushing their projects to the bottom of our to-do list because, well, it just wasn’t fun. If you’ve ever found yourself in this pickle, you’re not alone. We’ve all been in this situation, and frankly, it’s no fun.
Here are a few key signs that you should end the relationship before it starts. The quicker you realize the relationship isn’t worth pursuing, the more likely you are to not hurt anyone’s feelings and part as friends.
They’re not confident in your products or services.
If your potential client seems (extra) hesitant about your ability to deliver an exceptional product or service, then it’s probably best to say no to developing a partnership with them. Your ideal client should be over-the-moon for your business and understand the value you offer. If they’re always questioning your ability, then they’re more likely to be dissatisfied, and you’re more likely to have less confidence in your abilities. This lack of confidence can act like a virus in your business and trickle over to other areas of life — something you definitely don’t want! Squash those feelings before they have the chance to happen and politely pass up on the opportunity.
They change their minds a lot.
It’s ok to have a customer or client who isn’t 100 percent sure of what they want. It’s not okay to have a customer or client who changes their mind multiple times a day — causing you to frequently go back and revise your offer. The best clients are the ones who understand their needs and how your business solution can solve that need. If you’re constantly thinking on your feet, trying to figure out what your client wants, then you’re not in a good place. Be upfront with your customer from the beginning and clearly define what you can offer them. Clear, open communication always makes for the smoothest business relationship.
You just have that undeniable “gut feeling”
You know the feeling. You can’t exactly put your finger on it, but something isn’t right. Maybe you’ve heard from competitors about how this client is bad news. Or maybe your personalities aren’t a good match. If you have that gut feeling that the relationship won’t play out well, then you should probably say no to the opportunity. Maybe recommend them to someone else who you know would better serve them and their needs. That way, they leave the conversation feeling like you did everything in your power to help them.