to Justify Your Clients
It isn’t uncommon for there to be layoffs in corporate environments. They happen for a myriad of reasons, including but not limited to, poor performance, lack of sales, or mergers. More times than not there are guidelines for the layoff, rules to be followed.
But What Happens When You Have A Client That Needs To Go??
For some it is the most uncomfortable thing to think about, let alone actually do. I get it. I know what it feels like to wish I would have left that dollar on the table. This post isn’t about how to fire, but instead how to do a better job choosing the clients coming your way.
Inside my program, Project CEO, I cover a lot of what I’m about to share with you. I believe that part of transitioning from Boss to CEO is improving your discernment. I have a system for getting my students there, but for the sake of this blog post I’ll give you the Clift Notes version.
To me, it’s imperative that you know yourself and your why before you take on a new client. When you do, you know where your value intersects with someone else’s need. Take a look at this video then continue on with the blog:
This information helps you QUALIFY YOUR LEADS.
The term Circumstances for Optimal Success (COS) is one I use to describe the parameters you use to be as efficient and effective as possible on a project. When you know yourself and your WHY, you can easily measure your prospect against your COS for a good fit. To further qualify your lead, consider THEIR limitations. Have a conversation with them or have an intake form to find out their “peaks & pits” (strengths and weaknesses).
You’d be surprised by the number of client firings that happens because this wasn’t flushed out at the start of the project. This also comes in handy when your are pricing the project. It’s easy to get caught up in getting the sale and not pay close enough attention to the budget. During your qualifying process, make sure the budget covers the desired outcome.
Before you take on a new client, let me give you another piece of advice:
CLEARLY DEFINE THE SCOPE OF WORK
I know I don’t have to say this, but I’m going to anyway. Write the scope of work in the contract. I definitely didn’t need to preface this statement with HAVE A CONTRACT, did I?!?!!?! I’m sure I didn’t (but I snuck it in anyway)…lol!
I’ve been a part of a project (as a subcontractor) where the scope of work was clearly defined in the contract down to the letter AND I’ve been a part of project where things were a bit fuzzy and chaos ensued. You don’t want the latter, I promise!
The final piece of advice I’ll give you to better evaluate your prospects is this:
KNOW YOUR SPONSORS:
Now I’ll admit, this one actually came from my husband (in part). He’s a bigwig on his job (yes… the googly eyed wife – that’s me) and he used the term “sponsor” to define the person in charge. There are two types of sponsors to clearly define when you’re evaluating prospects and the projects they want you to take on:
- THE EXECUTIVE SPONSOR – This person is the OVERALL decision maker on the project. This is where the buck stops! It is important to know this person when there are issues on the project OR there are changes to the original scope of work. Expectations need to be managed and the executive sponsor is where those expectations form first.
Next we have the…
- PROJECT SPONSOR – this is the person who manages the overall project. They make sure the tasks are getting done on time and that things are running smoothly. A lot of the time, this is YOU and that’s okay. That’s okay, but you definitely want to know this prior to accepting a job. I don’t know about you, but I’m busy enough. I want to manage my own expectations and those of my new client prior to taking the job.
Hopefully with the tips to qualify leads I just shared, you won’t have to find out What Happens When You Have A Client That Needs To Go. Approach your prospecting and networking with your TRUE WHY in mind. Ultimately, you’re responsible for the clients you take on. You have the option to say “no thank you”, you know. I realize this is hard for some so inside Project C.E.O I’m helping to make this a little easier for you. Apply to see if it would be a good fit for you.
For more CEO MINDSET inspiration, listen to my podcast!! The C.E.O. Mindset!!!
***Listen on your favorite podcast platform***
Connect with Andrea
Additionally, if you’d like to book a virtual coffee with me, click the image below to get on my calendar. Let’s chat to find even more ways to build credibility for your brand.
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Inside the C.E.O. Circle we’re working on Mindsets of executive leadership. There are monthly opportunity to change a mindset that could be holding you back.