Understanding of who your ideal clients really are can be the most crucial part of any marketing campaign. Business coaches often talk about rating clients as A,B,C or D. But what does that really mean?
Most people will rate their clients based on their accounting reports. This usually means the biggest spenders get a higher rating. This is in no way a reflection of their true grading as a client! Sacking D grade clients does not mean getting rid of the ones who don’t spend much money… It’s really about their attitude toward working with you as a supplier of services.
An A-Grade client is measured as those that are most pleasurable to deal with as well as most profitable, you know the ones…they say “do what you need to do and send me the bill”. The only complain to help you improve things. And, they love to refer qualified leads to you that are of similar stature to themselves. They could also be potential business from someone that who only spends little today, but you know respect your time and your company.
B-Grade clients are usually those clients that deal with you with a minimum of fuss, but don’t do much for building your referral base. They are prime candidates to re-educate on the benefits of being an A-Grade client.
C-Grade clients are usually the price shoppers that may or may not buy from you depending on what else is around.
D-Grade clients are often the trouble makers. They usually cost you more than they are worth, every single time they call. When they ring, you know not only are you going to lose money, but they are going to upset someone on your team at the same time. D-Grade clients are the ones that make life a misery.
Get rid of them now!
You can only get more A-Grade clients if you let go of some of the C’s and D’s. This culling process should be on going, making sure that you always have space for the new A-Grader. The reason this is so important is that if you only accept A and B grade customers, you will see more of them. The will come out of the wood work. If all you are focused on is the problem customers…guess what you’ll see more of?
An important note, when doing customer surveys to get feed back on what you’re doing well and what you can do to grow your business, steer away from surveying “C” and “D” grade clients. These will often provide a negatively-biased view of your services and your capabilities.
Remember, you will get in life what you focus on most of the time. So, if you focus on building your business around you A-Grade clients, you will get more of them.
Cover image courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/reinis/434877298/