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Jan Copley
Certified Practice Advisor
Atticus, Inc.

530 South Lake Avenue, Suite 250
Pasadena, CA 91101
(626) 696-3145
(626) 421-6747 (fax)

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Who Are Your Clients And Why Are You Working With Them?

May 11, 2011

Filed under: Clients — @ 1:24 pm

Do you like all your clients? Or are there some that are just a pain? Do you have clients who cause your staff to complain? If the latter two questions are the case, maybe you want to consider some client selection criteria for your practice.

A key to your profitability — and sanity — is client selection. At Atticus, we suggest you rank your clients into “A,” “B” “C” and “D” clients as follows:

    • “A” clients are your dream clients. They pay — promptly — what you ask. They like the work you do for them. They follow your advice. They appreciate what you do. They refer their friends. You like them personally.

    • “B” clients are close to dream clients. They pay. Sometimes you have to do a little more work for them. They usually take your advice. They send referrals.

    • “C” clients are average clients. They usually — but not always — create problems. They don’t always follow your advice. They may not be as cooperative as they should be. They may be a slow pay.

    • “D” clients usually create too many problems and take too much of your energy to be worth working for them. They don’t pay, they try to negotiate your prices, they don’t take advice, and they don’t refer anyone to you.

Don’t let the wrong prices bring you the wrong clients. You may worry someone won’t retain you because he or she thinks your prices are too high. That means that person is, by definition, not an “A” client. Why would you want to work with someone who doesn’t want to pay you? “A” and “B” clients recognize the value you bring to the relationship and are willing to pay you for it, while “C” and “D” clients may not see the value and, in fact, very often try to negotiate discounts.

Set your prices to weed out the “C” and “D” clients. Your business will be far more profitable — and you and your team will be a lot happier — if you only have “A” and “B” level clients.

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