Ask the Experts

Ask the experts: Find 'ideal' clients for business

vbridges@newsobserver.comJanuary 6, 2014 

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If you want to expand your business in a meaningful, efficient, and profitable way, focus on attracting more “ideal” clients, said Bria Simpson, founder and CEO of Excelerated Success, a coaching and consulting company in Durham.

“What do I mean by ideal?,” Simpson asked. “I mean good-fit clients who fit the demographics, desires and other traits that are optimal for your business growth.”

Here are Simpson’s edited ideas for finding ideal customers in 2014.

Identify “ideal” clients: What traits and desires do you want your clients to have? One of Simpson’s clients, an interior designer, identified her ideal clients as those who like her style, want to redo three or more rooms and were willing to give up control of the redesign process. Once the designer focused on those traits, her profits and happiness in her business improved.

Ask preliminary questions to determine if a client is ideal: Simpson, who’s been a coach for 10 years, prefers working with established business owners who want to streamline their businesses so they run more efficiently and effectively.

Before working with clients, Simpson asks them questions, such as how long they’ve been in business, and do they have clear business systems, to determine if she’s a match with a potential client.

Simpson is looking for entrepreneurs who don’t have all the systems and focus they need in their business but clearly value obtaining those results. This “get acquainted call” helps her determine who her clients should be.

Say no to non-ideal clients: This is often a difficult step for business owners. Saying no to potential work often elicits a fear of letting business go and losing money.

Many owners can’t afford not to say no. It’s the only way to get what you really want in business — clients who will happily pay for services because the results you deliver are the results they want.

Bridges: 919-829-8917; Twitter: @virginiabridges

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