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How to Select Clients that are a Good Fit

One of the keys to long lasting client relationships is selecting clients that are a good fit in the first place. The following qualifiers are a good place to start. Instead of answering yes or no to each, assign each a score of either 4) Strongly Agree, 3) Agree, 2) Neutral/Maybe, 1) Disagree or 0) Strongly Disagree.

1. Is the business a good fit strategically?

A. This is a category of opportunity for our firm.

B. The relationship can be leveraged into future, additional business.

C. The client is a “name” we want on our list.

2. Is the business a good fit culturally?

A. We have thoroughly researched the prospect and believe we can work with them.

B. The prospect appears to be honest and straightforward.

C. We have a similar business philosophy.

3. Is the business a good fit financially?

A. We know the client’s budget.

B. The client is open to negotiations.

B. We can make a reasonable profit.

4. What are the expectations?

A. We have a good sense from the client about expectations.

B The client’s expectations are fair and reasonable.

C. We are confident that we can meet or exceed those expectations.

C. We have confidence in the client’s ability and motivation to fairly assess outcomes.

5. Anything else?

A. There is clearly management buy in.

B. Our questions about this client have been adequately answered

C. There are no major red flags.

After you have gone through these considerations, do a gut check. Do you feel a connection with the client or does this feel like a risk? It’s always tempting to take any client that offers to pay you, but you don’t want to engage with a client when you know it is going to fail. If you are clear on the client’s expectations and are confident that you can meet or exceed them, you will be off to a great start on a long-lasting mutually beneficial relationship.

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