What Do You Stand For—And What Will You Not?

Have you ever had a blinding moment of clarity where you just knew that the client or buyer you were wrestling with was a bad fit for you?

I was working with a client who had a series of those that motivated her to reposition her business.

The tent poles of the new positioning were now planted, with a clear client avatar, but she got a little stuck when it came to updating her messaging.

So I had her try an experiment. She closed her eyes and pictured the past clients she’d be thrilled to never hear from again.

As she listed maybe a dozen clients and buyers, she could quickly see their commonalities. They:

Set impossibly short deadlines and were reluctant to make reasonable adjustments.

Chewed up resources way out of proportion to the revenue they generated.

Needed to be reminded to treat her with respect and tended to be demanding, but not appreciative.

Returned emails and calls slowly, which exacerbated already challenging timelines.

Complained about her billing, so that every month felt like a battle.

The “aha” came when we drew the connections—literally circling phrases from her website—between her old messaging and the clients she no longer wanted to attract.

The moral of this story: sometimes it’s easier to know what do you stand for—by knowing what will you not.

If you find yourself unhappy with who or what is coming in your door, it’s a good experiment to try…

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