Not Everyone Is A Good Fit To Be Your Customer
I hate country music.
Being raised in Texas, you might think otherwise; but I cannot stand it. At my annual “Guys Weekend” trip a few years ago, we shared control of the music selection, each of us connecting to the Bluetooth speaker at different times. My brother-in-law (we’ll call him “Mike”) took control at one point. Before I knew it, he went from some great 90’s alternative to “today’s country.”
After probably 15 twangin’ songs about losing dogs and girlfriends, I was just seconds away from cutting my own ears off to stop the madness! I finally stole back the DJ spot and immediately pushed some Jay Z into the speaker.
My hatred toward country music (and the love Mike has for it) is proof that some things are just meant to work together. For me and country music, this is NOT the case.
The same is true in business.
When I’m meeting with a prospect for the first time, my goal is NOT to “sell” them something. My goal is to find out if what we’re good at is a fit for what they need. And, in many instances, it’s not. Usually, I’ll know it before they do.
1. The #1 question is, “What does it cost?”
If price is the biggest issue, we’re not the right partner. We know we’re not the cheapest. We also know we’re not the most expensive. I believe you get what you pay for; and what we do, we do well. I’m always very open about our pricing. It is what it is.
2. There’s a three-quote RFP process.
Somewhat connected to #1, if there’s a Request for Proposal (RFP) process, we’re typically not the one that ends up on top. In my opinion, RFPs are 97% based on price – even though most claim the decision is based on several factors. If it’s all about the RFP, how can someone know if the people on both sides of the project will get along? How do they know whether there are additional elements that should be considered? An RFP process, for our industry anyway, is a flawed process.
3. The expectation of content marketing, SEO and/or social media is to drive business immediately.
It’s a cheesy comparison, but what we do is closer to a marathon than a sprint. Or, like the Tortoise and the Hare, it takes focus and time and effort to win. Each client is different, and although we don’t usually get into long, locked-in contracts, we do stress that what we do takes time. If someone is looking for overnight success, we’re not going to be a good fit.
4. The meeting is 100% about business.
If you’re familiar with the DISC profile system, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking when I say I’m a “high S”. DISC is a personality assessment tool. S stands for “Steadiness” – it’s all about cooperating, being patient, and listening; but it’s also about valuing loyalty and helping others. When I meet someone for the first time, I want to get to know him or her personally. I want to understand where they’re coming from, what’s their biggest challenge, why they are where they are, etc. If the only interest is talking business, there are plenty of folks out there who don’t care for the personal relationship and just want to “get it done” – that’s not us. We are truly interested in creating success for our clients, and for that to happen, we have to know what “success” looks like, deep down and not just surface level success.
We’re not a fit for everyone, and we know this. The sooner we find this out, the better for all involved.
The same is true in your business. There are some clients who are better clients. There are some who just don’t fit. Don’t take on a client just because they have money. Take on a client because you KNOW you can help them.
Take on a client because it’s a great fit!