Your Client Base: Silk Purses or Sows’ Ears?

By Nina Kaufman, Esq.

Are we taking whatever walks through the door because we’re afraid there won’t be another piece of business .  .  . ever? There’s an old adage, “You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.” You could have the best possible systems in place for handling your clients and delivering your services. But if the raw materials you’re working with–the client–is substandard, you’re bound to run into serious hiccups along the way to getting paid.

Problem clients tend to have identifiable characteristics, as I mention in my article, “Profiles of the Top 5 Problem Clients.” From your first meeting with them, you sense that they are:

  • Petulantly dissatisfied .  .  . with everything
  • Looking for a deal .  .  . before you even mention your pricing
  • Starting and stopping projects with a variety of service providers just like you
  • In a crisis, with deadlines of .  .  . last week
  • Hedging about your terms, and that collecting will be like grasping smoke

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