8 tips on crafting great clients

The best ways to craft great clients, is to do your due diligence at the outset.

In the service industry it’s natural to want to take every piece of business, with the focus on the service you will provide. What’s less often, is the consideration of how the new client will perform for YOU! How easy will they be to manage and how quickly will they pay?

It’s time to stop treating your sales process as a one-way street. Instead, give some focus to crafting great clients by ticking your own boxes. Create a checklist, to include:

Credit check

Can they pay? Companies like Experian offer credit search facilities for businesses. For a small cost you’ll be able to find out information such as credit score, Director information (as listed at Companies House), credit limit and rating, and adverse information.


Do you know any other businesses that already work with your prospect? If so, ask what they’re like to work with. This will give you valuable insight on their viability as a client, as well as tips on how best to manage them.

The payment process

As a supplier, you’ll likely have your own payment terms but often, bigger businesses will also have their own payment terms. Find these out at the start to see how they match up. If you discover a particular process to follow then you can use this to your advantage, ensuring you get invoices in to hit payment dates and avoiding nasty surprises later on.

Their expectations of you

While you may be confident in your ability to deliver a great service, check your prospect’s expectations. Be honest about whether you can meet their timescales and any other stipulations made.

Once all steps are complete and your decision made, there are some more ways to manage your client’s performance:

Terms and conditions

If you don’t have terms and conditions, it’s very hard to expect clients to know what you want and even harder to get them to adhere to it! Set out the both parts of the bargain into what you will do and what you need them to do. For example your service level agreement and your payment terms. Issue this at the start and point out key areas to the client.

Accounts contact

You’ll often find the client contact you have may not be the person paying your bills. Clarify who this is at the start to avoid delays in payment.

Provide your details

Once you have the accounts contact, it’s a great idea to send them all your details at the outset so that they can set you up on their systems as a supplier. This should also minimise delays in payment.

Ongoing reviews

As part of your account management process, be sure to bring up any issues before they become big problems. By following all of these steps your troublesome clients should be a thing of the past! As always though, for help in implementing any of these tips just get in touch for a free business review.

3 symptoms of a bad client

In all my years of working with small businesses one thing is consistent, bad clients!

Most small businesses are run by an owner/manager for whom the business is their life. Often these business owners will hold onto bad clients because they feel guilt over turning away custom. In this blog I’ll explain the 3 symptoms of a bad client and explain why you really don’t need them.

1. The Bad Payer

These clients are the ones taking up hours of time in chasing old invoices, by email and on the phone. Maybe you’ve had to draft letters demanding payment too. Just get rid of these bad clients.

Invoicing for work you know will not be paid really is a waste of your time. Not only that, being known for doing work without pay will affect your credibility and attract more of the same. Use your time more effectively by finding new clients who can pay on time.

2. The Mood Hoover

Do any of your clients live in a state of negativity leaving you feeling drained, frustrated and even angry? You’re not alone and this type of bad client is known as a ‘mood hoover’. Getting rid of them will improve your frame of mind and when that happens, anything is possible! Certainly you’ll find it easier to find clients who are a pleasure to work with.

3. The Morally Questionable

In my role as a business consultant I’ve also come across businesses who’ve discovered their clients are operating in direct conflict with their own morals and values. In some cases even in conflict with the law. This really is a danger area for you as a supplier, if discovered by other suppliers and clients. Sack these bad clients today and protect your reputation.

If you recognise any of these symptoms in your own clients, then don’t waste another moment of your time on them! Take control, you’ll feel so much better for it and it really will improve your business and productivity. If you need any help reviewing your book of customers then contact me for a Free Business Review. I’ll come in and spend 2 hours helping you identify actions that will positively impact your business.