Every business wants to attract their soul mate clients to their business.
But in the process of attracting your soul mate clients, you also end up attracting the clients that you usually don’t want to work with.
Its a part of being in business.
It happens to businesses all around the world, both big and small businesses.
Not everyone is as committed to being a good customer as your soulmate clients. And that really has nothing to do with you. It’s just who some people are.
What are the red flags that these potential customers could be sending?
Wanting to change the contract
If you have a contract that you have your clients sign, especially on the length of time for working together, your clients should be okay with that. There should be no reason to change the contract.
I recently had this experience with a potential client. She wanted to change the contract from 12 months to 2 months.
It was her first time hiring a bookkeeper for her business, so she wasn’t sure she really wanted one. But she knew she needed one because she didn’t like to do the work involved in bookkeeping (aka it wasn’t done at all for the entire year).
But her fear of not trusting herself and her business to provide for her overruled everything and she wouldn’t sign a 12 month contract. (Unless I am only doing bookkeeping cleanup, less than a 12 month contract doesn’t work for me and being able to help you with your business.)
Since she wasn’t willing to do a 12 month contract, I knew it just wasn’t going to work out. She was going into our working together with the thought that she didn’t think it was going to benefit her and her business. And that just doesn’t work for me.
It shouldn’t for you either.
Unless there is a very good reason for changing the contract and your entire package for your customer, it should never even be something that comes up.
Wanting to change the payment plan
This one may or may not be a red flag. You’ll have to fully understand your client’s situation.
But if they just want to change the payment plan without any real reason for why, then step back and really look at it.
Most clients are okay with either paying in full or the payment plan you already have in place. Very few will need changes of any type.
Use your own intuition to reason why they are wanting to change the payment plan and whether you should accommodate them or not.
Taking long periods of time to respond to your messages
Some people will take a little while to respond, that isn’t necessarily a red flag.
But the people who take longer and longer to respond to your messages, and always reply with an apology for why it’s taken so long to get back to you, are definite red flags.
Are they actually invested in working with you?
Are they going to show up on time on calls?
Are they going to use excuses every time you need to get something from them?
Expecting you to be available at their beck and call
Anyone who can’t trust and abide by your boundaries, just isn’t worth the headache they are going to cause.
If someone always expects you to respond to them immediately when they send you a message, they are not really the kind of client you want.
You have business hours for a reason.
They don’t pay invoices on time
Either they don’t pay their invoices from you when they are received, or there is an issue with processing their credit card for the recurring payments.
Again, I understand that business owners are busy running their own business too. But everyone should have a process that allows them to easily pay invoices on time or prevent having issues with their credit card.
What do you do when you notice the red flags?
Sometimes you may notice the red flags fairly early, other times they may not stick out to you so easily.
But what do you actually do when you see the red flags?
Just like everything else, it’s your business, so it’s really your choice.
But do you really want to work with this person?
Are they a soul mate client for you?
Can you see yourself continuing to put up with this person long term?
Are you willing to make the changes they are asking you to make?
Sit down and evaluate where you stand in your business and letting this person continue to work with you.
How many red flags have you seen in your potential customers?
Have you noticed any of these red flags pop up with your potential customers?
Did you continue to work with them or tell them that it’s not a good fit?
Have you seen any other red flags that I didn’t mention?