You should know: How To Choose Your Client
26 November 2018
Before starting a business, Raquel Tulk, founder and president of Viita Protection, would have loved to know how to carefully select her retailers; making sure that they too have the success and longevity of her business at heart. She learned to focus on the ones who are looking to work together to achieve goals, rather than the ones who are simply interested in price.
RAQUEL TULK, PRESIDENT AND FOUNDER OF VIITA PROTECTION
Raquel is a natural born leader and entrepreneur. In elementary school, she had already created a small business selling muffins and cupcakes to her classmates. When she was employed as a teenager, she managed to stand out from her colleagues by always surpassing expectations. At LaSalle College, while she was studying fashion marketing, a year-end project propelled Raquel and one other student to develop a business from the ground up. The idea to reinvent absorbent undergarments came to her after a discussion with her gynecologist aunt. Her appearance on the television show Dans l’oeil du dragon marks a turning point, since that’s when Danièle Henkel decided to become her associate and mentor. Her product is now selling all over Canada and the United States. “It really is a great time for entrepreneurs,” says the business owner who’s sales revolve around e-commerce. “With the technology of today redefining customer service, we can innovate and become pioneers.”
KNOWING HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR CLIENTS
Solutions from École des entrepreneurs du Québec
Beside himself with enthusiasm, the new entrepreneur is often under illusion that everyone is interested in what he has to offer. He’s ready to sacrifice everything just to make a sale. Sure this brings him a certain financial gain, but it can also leave him feeling bitter. Knowing when to say no is a crucial part of sales negotiations, and it’s something that should be learned from the start.
The École des entrepreneurs du Québec recommends…
5 valid reasons to refuse a sale
1 – THE PROFIT MARGIN IS TOO LOW
You have to establish your break-even point and stick by it, or make exceptions when you estimate that the collateral advantages of a low-revenue sale are greater and will pay off long term. It’s the case if, for example, you get brand recognition, amazing visibility, or the possibility to establish long-term business relationships that will bring in repeat business.
2 – THE CLIENT IS NOT VERY PLEASANT
Stop! It’s better to stay away. Imagine dealing with a complaint or after-sale service when a client is difficult, not fun at all.
3 – WHEN IT’S A SINGLE SALE
When a sale will most likely be a one shot deal with minimal income, and has minimal chances of becoming repeat business, you can refuse.
4 – THE CLIENT REQUIRES A CUSTOM-MADE PRODUCT
You are most likely going to waste too much time and resources on satisfying the demand.
5 – THE ORDER EXCEEDS YOUR PRODUCTION-TO-DELIVERY LIMIT
You risk messing up the work and the client receiving it late. “A satisfied client tells two people; an unsatisfied one, tells 10”, the dogma states.
5 things that make up a perfect client:
1- He’s a part of your initial target market (the clientele you wish to offer your product or services to).
2- Your agreement is clear, complete and protects both parties from potential litigation suits.
3- Your understanding of his needs is clear and concise and your estimate reflects this.
4- His needs correspond with your service offer. There is no need to modify what you are offering.
5- You have mutual respect for one another.
3 tips to properly choose your clients
1-Being selective in this process often means having fewer clients, but the ones you do have will be more worthwhile; they are relatively more loyal in honouring their commitment and respect the values you mutually share.
2- Be clear in your service offer, ask the right questions, draft agreements in which the client and the entrepreneur’s best interests are accounted for, and establish trust. Negotiate? Certainly, add the terms that work for you! For example, if you need additional production time, opt for a faster delivery option to accommodate the client, or offer a price reduction on long term agreements.
3- Better selecting your clients also demonstrates a certain confidence in yourself, and in your product or service. It’s that level of confidence that most instructors at École des entrepreneurs du Québec work on developing. Fostering respect and educating your clientele on the value of your service will be more profitable in the medium-term.
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