I love shopping. When I tell people that shopping is one of my favorite things to do, they are under the impression that I must spend a lot of money. Not true. To me, “Shopping” does not mean “Buying”. For me, it means Searching, Evaluating, Comparing, Analyzing…., and yes, sometimes buying in the end. But I like to see what my options are, so I know that in the end I’ve made the right decision, and gotten the right style and fit. I’ve found that perfect item I was looking for and that I won’t regret that purchase later on. That is important. After all, who likes to have buyer’s remorse, or worse yet, have to return things to the store? And it's not fun to pack it up and ship it back. It causes a lot of extra work if you don’t do your homework on the front end. I’m not an impulse purchaser. I’m more like a “weigh my options” type of buyer. I rarely return things (unless I am buying for someone else and the size is wrong).
This same methodology can apply to a client relationship. All customers are not a good fit. We may want them to be. They may want to be. But sometimes, we should just politely decline to pursue that partnership. Is it disappointing? Yes. But the pain later on when they are disgruntled is much worse, and can cause future losses for your business. Ending on a sour note, or getting a bad review from this customer, is a terrible outcome - especially one that should never have been yours in the first place. This is not what you want to happen, and it can be avoided by some pre-planning (my version of shopping) upfront.
Find the Right Customer that Matches your Business Model
Following these guidelines will help you to avoid buyers’ remorse. More importantly, it will save you time and money. Wasting months vetting, onboarding, and executing your project plan just does not make monetary sense. If the relationship does not make both parties happy – then it is doomed from the beginning. (Customer is miserable and ends the contract = the dreaded store return)
Finding the right customer that fits your needs while matching their own is not a perfect science. It is a combination of hard work and luck. It is akin to looking for the perfect handbag- just the right shade of tan. It matches most outfits but is not boring, dull, or dowdy. You can go to 20 stores and search 50 websites, and then, bam, you find it when you are not looking.
So keep looking for the right customer – you will find them eventually and the search will ultimately pay off.