Turning Away Prospective Clients: How to Set Guidelines and Why

It sounds harsh, possibly even arrogant to write a blog post telling everyone that we have exclusionary guidelines that repel customers. That we actually tell prospective leads that they aren’t a good fit for us but it’s a two way street: if you aren’t a good fit for us, we probably aren’t a good fit for you.

Nurturing relationships with clients is a lot of work, worthwhile work, but a lot of work. If those hours of nurturing are for those that aren’t a good fit for your business you end up disappointed and emotionally exhausted.

So how do you create a strategy that repels the wrong customers and attracts the right ones?

Create Personas

More than likely, in business, you have heard of buyer personas. Hubspot defines a buyer persona as “a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers.” Buyer personas help marketers and sales professionals create a process that attracts the most valuable visitors, leads, and customers to their business.

Negative or Exclusionary personas represent those that are not a good fit for your business. Detailed identifiers are important in finding out your negative personas. Your identifiers are the single biggest factor in determining if a lead is a bad fit for your company.

Be Transparent

Your website is a great place to tell everyone about your company and even provide guidelines on what kind of customer is a good fit for your business. Be transparent and don’t soften the language. Your language on marketing materials, your website, social media sites and ads should be a clear reflection of who you are, what you do and what you like. Sometimes being transparent means that you must admit your weakness.

Provide Your Working Relationship Guidelines

To be successful in business you must have high standards. Everyone must do their part. A client relationship is the same way. Tell prospective clients what makes a successful client or partner and what you expect. You can guarantee that your client will want a level of service agreement. It’s completely reasonable to ask the same in return.

One size never fits all. Even if you can squeeze it on or let it sag, it’s not comfortable unless it fits. Be selective in who you agree to do business with and you will have the time to focus on the customers that matter most.

Have you ever turned away a customer that wasn’t a good fit for your business?

Read more at IdeaCreativeMarketing.com/blog

2 thoughts on “Turning Away Prospective Clients: How to Set Guidelines and Why

  1. I personally think it’s not only important to repel customers that are wrong fits, but also crucial to know when and how to terminate a bad sales relationship. Unfortunately there exists “customers” who for various reasons would just never be profitable to work with.


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