02 Nov A simple clue to finding ideal clients
Wouldn’t it be great if we could choose the clients to work with, finding our ideal clients?
Well, I’ve realized that, in some ways, we do have this opportunity.
I’ve observed my situation: what I look for in an ideal client is similar to what the same client looks for in an ideal collaborator.
When I buy from others, I’m always positively impressed by politeness, honesty, reliability, respect and punctuality. These qualities affect my choice. And in most cases, my choice proves to be right.
As a VA, I’m a service provider. As such, I love to collaborate with clients who show politeness, honesty, reliability, respect and punctuality.
And if you ask my clients, guess what are the qualities they say I possess?
Politeness, honesty, reliability, respect and punctuality.
See? It’s all connected.
To understand how to attract our ideal clients, we should observe ourselves first.
Whether we realise it or not, the qualities we appreciate in others are essentially the qualities we possess ourselves. That is something to keep in mind when it comes to marketing and promoting ourselves.
The skills and the solutions we offer are very important, of course, but people like to do business with people. They relate to people. We shouldn’t walk away from our personality. Let’s show ourselves for who we are. Our most satisfied clients and supporters will be the ones who will identify with us. They will like and trust us, and will probably want to work with us even if our rates are higher than our competitors’.
In the early stages of a new business, we just need to work, gain experience, earn enough to keep the lights on. We have to start at the bottom, not much choice here. Whatever sort of clients come our way, we happily and gratefully start to work with them. We put all our effort, commitment, passion into what we do for all our clients.
Then, after a while we realize which business relationships are worth it. There are clients we really love to work with. We collaborate, grow together, giving useful suggestions to each other. Oh, it feels so good! It doesn’t even feel like “working”. But some clients, well… some are more difficult than others. Sometimes it’s worth it. Sometimes not.
Let’s take the virtual assistance industry, for example. There are so many VAs around the globe, with every imaginable skill set. Some of us have the same skills. What differentiates us? This is what I asked myself in the beginning. Everyone kept repeating: we are all unique. But to me it was just a vague idea.
But now I understand. It’s our personality, our mindset, how we communicate and collaborate. Sometimes the solutions we offer are the same as our competitors’. It’s the way we offer them that differentiates us.
Just a quick example: a new client asks his new VA to assess the newsletter he’s been sending out in the last few months. Here are two replies, from two different VAs:
- VA #1: Your newsletter is a mess, it really stinks. I will change the layout completely, and get rid of that awful contact button. I can design a new, much better one.
- VA #2: I’ve checked your newsletter. We could certainly make some improvements. I will show you some examples of different layouts so that we can work on your favourite one. I will also show you some options regarding the contact button.
Which VA would you like to work with? They offer the same solutions.
They just communicate differently. Neither of them is wrong. There will be people who prefer a direct, straightforward approach like #1, and others who will feel more comfortable with a softer #2 approach.
Again, there’s no right or wrong. In business relationships (and in life too), you will subconsciously be attracted by the people you identify with. These are the foundations for rewarding, long-lasting relationships.
If you are direct and straightforward, maybe your clients love to work with you because they are direct, straightforward people, and that’s how they like to communicate. Probably your website/blog content and social media activity reflect those qualities, attracting clients who share the same qualities.
If you prefer to work with people who have a softer approach, then your content should reflect it. By doing this you will probably appeal to that type of client.
This doesn’t mean you will always find ideal clients (too good to be true!) but you’ll see that in the majority of cases, the most rewarding and long-term relationships will be the ones with ideal clients. The other clients will come and go.
Let’s keep that in mind when developing our promotion strategy. That’s where our efforts should lead, showing our uniqueness to attract our ideal clients’ attention.
What do you think about it? Have you defined your ideal client?