I’m sure you’ve been bombarded over the last couple of years with messages about “The law of attraction.”  Let’s leave out the metaphysical, fru-fru elements and talk about this concept in a practical way that I guarantee will help you win more of the right kinds of new business.

Learn more with Tom as he presents a special workshop, "Selling 180°: A Human Approach to New Business Development" at the Insights Leadership Conference, November 5-7 in San Diego.

I have seen a measurable correlation between clarity about and articulation of what an ideal client looks like and revenue and profitability growth.  The other essential element of this equation is an unwavering willingness to say “no” to  opportunities that are not a good fit.

Are you clear and specific about what your ideal client looks like?  Can you quickly and boldly articulate this to a new prospect?  Consider creating a list of these qualities with your team, and integrating into your sales process.  Here is one example to get your started.

New clients that are the best fit for us are…

  • Big enough that they can afford us - $5-50M companies
  • Located on the East Coast, reachable via quick plane flight
  • They don’t have the expertise and know they need help creating more complex financial metrics
  • Profitable, growing, good capital base
  • Management group is active in the business (no absentee owner)
  • Willing to take risks and do what it will take to grow
  • Fun to work with, always optimistic
  • Willing to listen to our advice, trust us as the experts
  • Don’t complain about money (paying us) and pay in a timely manner

Sketch out your own version of this list.  Both the quantitative and qualitative elements are equally important.  Notice any part of your brain that looks at your list as too “pie in the sky.”  You must have a client or two that is ideal, right?  The kind of client that you’d love to have more of.  Start by making a list that would describe them.   Doesn’t sound too hard, does it?  Notice any resistance that you have, then do it anyway!

In addition to being more disciplined about defining what you want to attract, it’s also essential to notice the kinds of new business opportunities that suck your time, energy, and valuable internal resources.  You know these well and can smell them from a mile away.  They are a pain in the butt and in the end never close.  And yet, you still get sucked in.  Why is that?  In order to get more of what you want, you have to be willing to let some things go, to say “no” to specific kinds of opportunities, certain people.

Here is an example of a “C” prospect list that you want to be less tolerant of spending time on…

  • Unorganized, don’t really know what they want
  • Hard to get a hold of, difficult to get the important information we need
  • Everything is “Can’t wait!” and then “Hold on, wait” or “Now, things have changed”
  • Not willing to take advice and follow our process
  • Price driven and not experienced enough with these services to pay our fees w/out complaining

I understand that all your prospects are not going to be ideal.  That said, you can be a little more disciplined and bold about where and with whom you spend your valuable time and energy.  Saying “no” to certain opportunities and being more bold and articulate about what you are looking to attract more of will get you to your goals quicker.  By the way, it will also make you happier.