Trying to help everyone that comes to your business is not always a great idea. Sure, it would be nice to earn money from everyone that comes through the door, however does servicing this customer align with your business’ vision? Are you able to service the customer properly? Is there a negative risk of accepting the customer? These are a couple of things that I think of before accepting clients into my practice.
Here are a few recent examples where I had to make a decision as to whether or not to accept the potential customer:
- Potential client was in the process of setting up an Amazon storefront. They were not local, however, that is not a deal breaker on its own. I currently do not have any e-commerce clients using Amazon storefronts. Although this may have been a great and fun challenge for me I passed. Maybe I would change my mind if they were local or came via referral, but I had to go with my gut on this one.
- Potential client was a real estate investor and a local agent. They seemed very enthusiastic and people were recommending me to them. However, in this thread where the referral was coming from there was another practice that I thought would be a better fit than me and I was open and honest about it. Sure, I could have said I can handle the work, but there was a practice that had a niche in the industry and I passed.
- Potential client was starting an online business and came to me via a referral from a current client. They are local and extremely passionate about what they do. They needed help with getting their accounting set-up and guidance on different tax matters. I was able to relate to them and understood their service offerings. This client I accepted as it felt like a perfect fit for the practice.
The main thing to take away from this is if you can relate to your customer, it fits within your vision and if you are able to service them adequately then by all means accept the customer. There may be consequences down the road if you take on one that does not fit. Discovery meetings are my way of trying to see if there is a fit before accepting a client and I do these for free.