The subject line has some missing pieces or incomplete information and the article below completes the puzzle.
Consultants want more work and look forward to work with each & every prospective client who comes to them to have a preliminary discussion. Turning each prospect into a long-term customer and having a high client conversion rate is something that all the independent consultants aspire to. Given the rapid evolution in the business world, each consulting business now requires a consistent inflow of clients to survive amidst the fierce competition.
However, not all the prospects that a consultant approaches or approach the consultant will necessarily turn out to be good clients. There are some clients out there who will harm your consulting business and do no good. These clients are too demanding and irrational and can damage your work and reputation as a consultant. For a successful consulting business, these reputation damaging clients are to be avoided always.
In addition to knowing how to acquire new clients, a good consultant should also know how to identify these bad clients and refrain from taking their assignments. Consultants should not get carried away by short-term benefits and they need to identify the bad clients before incurring losses.
Please read through some guidelines below how to identify the bad clients and create a long term established consulting practice:
1. Confused Clients:
A Consultant should not work with those clients who are confused and come to the consultant without a precise objective. Confused clients are unable to take and implement decisions quickly and they waste the invaluable time of consultant in procrastination.
Confused clients talk to more than one consultant, but due to their ignorance and confusion, they are always displeased with the advice given by different consultants. Also a consultant will always find it difficult to build rapport with such clients because they are highly skeptical about the services of the consultant.
2. Clients without a USP and Niche Area:
Consultants always have a hard time dealing with those clients who do not have a USP and a Niche area of operation. Businesses without a niche area will not benefit from a consultant’s services simply because their scope of working is very generalized, whereas a consultant’s services are specific and limited to a particular area of business.
Due to the absence of a unique selling proposition (USP) and a niche area, these clients do not have a unique presence in the market and their products and services are easily interchangeable with other products and services available in the market. Getting good results for such businesses is difficult and not measurable.
3. Where Role is not Defined:
Each independent consultant is a specialized expert within a particular field of consultancy. However, there are some clients who want to assign multifaceted roles to a consultant in a project, irrespective of the core competency of the consultant.
Consultants should not take on projects where the role of a consultant is not explicitly defined and includes all the facets. These types of projects are a distraction for consultants and they lose their focus on their core skills. The consultants should ascertain their roles and responsibilities before taking the assignments.
4. Too many Cooks Spoil the Broth:
A Consultant should not join a bandwagon full of many consultants having overlapping roles. In trying to be more safe, some clients want to get opinions from several experts on the same issue, so they hire multiple consultants for a single project.
Due to the overlapping roles of consultants, differences of opinions arise in the project which slows down the progress of work and ultimately it is the consultants who are held accountable. Thus, it is rightly said that “Too many cooks spoil the broth”.
5. Clients not interested in Implementing your Suggestions:
There are some clients who go to a consultant just to give a try and are not serious about applying the consultant’s suggestions in their business. These clients do not implement the given advice at the proper time and then blame the consultant later, when they don’t get the desired results.
Such clients don’t value your services and they keep whining about your charges all the time. In addition, these clients have a tendency to raise doubts on your suggestions and they demand too much clarifications. If a consultant finds himself spending too much time answering their impractical demands, then it is better to let go of these clients.
6. Unrealistic Goals:
Some clients have too many unrealistic goals and they think that these unrealistic goals can be achieved with the help of a business consultant. These clients find it difficult to accept their flaws and switch from one consultant to other for fulfillment of their unrealistic business goals.
A Consultant is advised to avoid all those situations where the approach is itself doubtful and too unrealistic goals are set. A Consultant should not take on projects where a clear road map is not envisioned and goals are set without required infrastructure and support services.
- The subject line may sound incorrect, but that is done on purpose to make sure you take a stand, maybe disagree and air your views.
- If you find yourself getting preoccupied with the irrelevant needs of bad clients, then its time to reassess your client relationships and decide your ideal class of clients before targeting any further prospects.
- Sometimes letting go of these unrealistic clients is the best approach to adopt. A successful and a long-term consulting practice depends on the quality of your clients as much as it depends on the quality of your work.