Imagine, you’re looking at your operating account and wondering how you’re going to make payroll in a few weeks (you do project that far ahead, right??). Suddenly, the phone rings and it’s a potential new client.
Want to bet in a few months (if that) that this is going to be yet another nonpaying “pita?” Why does this keep happening??
I get it. Unlike a lot of consultants/gurus/coaches, I actually practice law and have done so for over 27 years. I never had a corporate client or two consistently feeding me work. Rather, like you, I have to “make it rain” consistently every single month, or else…
The temptation to take cases and clients outside of our usual practice areas (you do niche, right?) is most tempting at the time when we can least afford it, when our cash flow is precarious. Yet, that is no time to forget the certain tried and true business practice of making sure the client is actually qualified to be your client.
Here are 5 steps I run through with each and every potential new client so I know I will make money.
- I forget how much (or how little) is in my bank account for that month.
- I focus on, and remember, what my practice area is (contract litigation and transactional work for business and life coaches).
- I let the potential client tell me the problem and if it’s not in one of the two categories I mentioned, I rarely let the call proceed.
- If it’s an area I focus on, I assess how a relationship with this client would look.
- Assuming my senses say this is a good person who will value my help, I evaluate the magnitude of work and an appropriate fee.
Notice I don’t even get to the money analysis if the other factors aren’t lined up.
Well, it’s easy if you’ve done the work to niche your practice.
Do you know who your ideal client is?
If you say anyone with money, you may want to reconsider your method.
I have an approach you may want to consider in creating a practice area you will love and one in which you can thrive. I’ve used the approach to help my own practice and leave the cr*p cases behind. It has helped me develop my business plan that suits my lifestyle and bank account. I bet it would work for you too.
If my steps above made sense and you’re tired of not getting paid, working for anybody that comes around and not having a growth plan in place for your future, let’s talk. My calendar is right here. Pick a day and a time that works and make the decision to start running a business that will take care of you.
If this resonated with you, chances are it will help others too. Share this with your friends and colleagues that want the same thing you do.