When I was just starting out in my business, I started working with a marketing coach. But upon reflection, they were more suited to businesses that were a little more advanced than mine was at the time, and I didn’t show up to the best of my ability. It got me thinking, how do we attract better clients?
Think about the clients you enjoy working with the most, and now think about the ones you enjoy working with the least. What is the difference between them? And what would you say if I told you it was possible to only work with the ones you enjoy the most?
There are people out there who love to work in exactly the same way that you do, so in this episode, I’m sharing five ways you can attract those clients. When you show up in your best energy, you are going to get your clients the best results and attract those clients that are energetically matched with you, and I’m showing you how this week.
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What You’ll Learn from this Episode:
- How you can attract the best clients for you in your business.
- Why there is no right way for you to run your business.
- How to set your standards for you based on how you work best.
- A story of how I was in over my head with a coaching relationship in the early days of my business.
- How to tell the difference between your best clients and the others.
- 13: When Your Client Wants a Refund
- The Prosperous Coach: Increase Income and Impact for You and Your Clients by Steve Chandler and Rich Litvin
Read the full transcript now
You’re listening to the Mastering Money in Midlife podcast with Debbie Sassen, episode 15, How to Attract Better Clients.
Welcome to Mastering Money in Midlife, a podcast for midlife women in business to overcome financial anxiety and make more money without burning out or sacrificing their families. Join certified life and money coach Debbie Sassen as she shares practical business strategies and mindset shifts that help you dissolve the money blocks that keep you stuck in a cycle of underearning and under-saving, sabotage the growth of your business, and prevent you from building the wealth that you desire.
Hello my friends, and welcome back to the podcast. I have an episode for you today that I think everybody who is in business is going to love, and that is how to attract better clients. I came up with this idea after reflecting on the podcast that I did two weeks ago when your client wants a refund. I was remembering the first coach that I hired for my business, and this is going back probably ten years.
I hired a marketing coach for my business. I have to say that I probably was not in the place that was the best place for hiring that coach at that time, meaning I was newer in my business, and I think reflecting back on it that the coach that I hired that I wanted to work with was for businesses that were more advanced than I was. Part of me even wants to believe that the coach should have told me, you know what, this isn’t the right coaching relationship. You’re too new in your business.
I know that you’re very determined and you’re very committed, and you want to make things work, but I don’t think this is going to be the best relationship. I don’t think this is going to be the best thing for you right now. Anyway, that’s not what happened, and I paid the money. I was very determined, which I have a tendency to be. I think I was a little bit over my head.
Also, with my family, which you know is a large family, I had some kids who needed some special attention at that time, some therapy, extra tutoring, whatever it was, and that also diverted my attention from being in my business having all the time in my day that I thought that I would have to be in my business. But, anyway, I showed up as best as I could. I was very, very slow in the fulfilling the, let’s say, requirements of that business relationship. One of the things that we were working on was a free opt-in for my website. I was creating a free e-book that people could sign up for download, and that way, I would attract potential new clients get them on an email list.
I don’t remember how long it was after I finished working with this particular coach. I finally completed that eBook, and I even sent it to the coach, and I said, hey, I just want you to know that I didn’t completely flake out, and here’s that eBook that we were talking about back in the day. They got back to me and congratulated me, whatever, but it made me think, was I really the best client for that coach at that time?
Could I have shown up differently, and what is it actually mean that I was probably in over my head that was too high-level coach for me for that stage of my business, I thought that it would be very helpful for you to think about how you can attract the best clients for you in your business. So, I have five things for you today.
The first point is to know thy self. What I mean is, know how you work best with your clients. Like, understand your energy. Are you the type of person who likes to work over long periods of time with deep processes, and you go into things you know very, very deeply and completely? You really like the soup to nuts type of approach when you are working with your clients, or do you like more surface-level kinds of relationships? Do you like to do things quickly?
Do you like to work with your clients over six or ten or twelve months periods of time, like, know how you work best and how you show up in the best energy, and this even translates into are you a morning person? Right? Are you an early bird, like to wake up, have a lot of energy, and want to be working with your clients’ first thing in the morning, or are you more of a night owl and you like to sleep in? You like to take it easy and drink 13 cups of coffee before you show up in your office at noon?
And there’s no right way for you to run your business. Just know how you work best and set your standards for you. I remember reading the book The Prosperous Coach by Steve Chandler and Rich Litvin, and if you’re a coach, it’s a great book. I highly recommend it, and they’re different business models for coaches that the authors bring in that book. One of them is a coach who loves to work in full-day intensives, and that’s how their clients get the best results, and I think it was Rich, one of the authors, who said he likes to work in 13-month engagements with his clients.
Then, he also said a different coach likes to work very quickly, more like laser-focused coaching, and never more than 3 months at a time. Do you like working in 90-minute slots, 30-minute slots, like, there are no cut and dry, hard and fast rules in your business. Know what works best for you and how you can get your clients the best results. You can even compare it to, let’s say, runners. There are marathon runners, and there are sprinters, and we would never expect a marathon runner to be the best sprinter, and we would never expect the sprinter to be the best marathon runner, and both of them are equally good.
They are just different. They are both different types of runners, and they both have their classes that they show up in, and that’s what they do. So, the way that you get your clients results, is it in person, is it long-term, short-term, intensive, like, figure out what works best for you and build your business model that’s going to work best for you because when you’re showing up in your best energy, you’re going to get your clients the best results. You’re going to attract those people who are like energetically matched to work with you in the way that you get them the best results. That’s number one.
Number two is to set your best client standards. So, for example, if you are that night owl who doesn’t wake up at the crack of dawn and needs a bunch of coffee before you get going in the morning, right? Your best clients are not going to be the ones who can only meet at 7:30 in the morning before they go to work, right? Your best clients show up for you at the times that work for you. It goes deeper than that.
Your best clients are the clients who pay you on time, who show up on time, right? You want to make sure that your client standards are that if you’re supposed to be meeting at noon that the client shows up at noon and not 12:05, 12:10, 12:15, and you might even have an agreement so that your client knows what the expectations that you have of your client. If you’re a physical therapist or a sports coach and have exercises that your clients are supposed to do between sessions, right?
Your best clients are going to do their exercises between sessions, and you might even have an agreement or a contract that your client signs to make sure that they follow up and do what’s expected of them. If you’re a copywriter and you give your client content material that you’ve written, and you expect that your best clients return the copy with the corrections within 2 days or 3 days, right? You want to make sure that’s very explicitly set out because otherwise, the project is going to drag on and on and on.
You want to make sure that your clients get the best service and that you can serve your clients in the best possible way because if you expected that you were going to have their comments on the first draft within 2 or 3 days and it takes them a week and a half, then you like forgotten about that project, and then you have to go and invest more time in order to get them the service that they want.
So, really think about what your standards are for your clients and how you’re going to be able to serve them in the best possible way. You can think about the clients that you’re working with now. The ones that you enjoy working with most and just notice how does that client respond? Do you give them feedback, and they accept it? Do you give them feedback, and they’re always defensive?
Do you give exercises to your clients, and they implement it or homework, like, just really focus on the people that you love working with and then they’re the clients that you maybe are less enthusiastic about working with and what are the character traits? What’s the energy? How do they show up? How can you tell the difference between your best clients and your not best clients? This isn’t a judgment on the person. It could be that your best client isn’t going to work so beautifully with someone else because it’s going to be an energetic mismatch, or your working standards are going to be different, right?
So, each person is beautiful and wonderful as they are. Still, it could be just their way of doing work and our energies and whether we’re very focused people or we’re sort of like all over the place kind of people. People like to work in different ways, and all of them are equally good, but notice what works the best for you so that you can show up for your clients at their highest level, and they can show up for you at their highest level.
Number three is to believe that your clients actually exist in the world. So, if you do not yet have a fully booked business, right? You might have like 2 or 3 clients, you might be a newer business owner, and you haven’t yet attracted all of your best clients, or you used to have a bunch of best clients, and then all of a sudden they seemed to have disappeared. Or maybe you’ve like pivoted your niche a little bit, or you’re doing different work from what you used to be doing. It’s really important that you believe that your best clients are actually out there in the world.
If you don’t have them right now, maybe you’re working with some people that it’s not such a great match, or you’re working with people in your old niche, but you haven’t yet attracted a fully booked roster of clients in your new niche. You might have to borrow belief from somebody else out there or borrow belief from your like former business model when you were fully booked that you can create a thriving business doing what you’re doing now in the way that you are doing it now.
I was thinking this goes back more than 25 years ago. I was looking for a new pediatrician. I had 2 or 3 kids at the time, and we had a pediatrician that was pretty far from our house, and it just wasn’t working for me. A new pediatrician opened an office in my neighborhood, and it was a much shorter ride and the travel time to get to this new pediatrician was much shorter and way more convenient.
First, for a second or third time that I showed up in his office, the office was practically empty. I mean, it was such a pleasure because I could just show up there anytime, and I could get my kids checked out if they had a cough or a fever or ear infection or something like that. It was such a pleasure because I got served straight away, and I can imagine that doctor would be sitting there in his empty office wondering, am I ever going to have enough clients? Will I ever have enough patients? Right.
All of these families in my neighborhood they’ve been working with different pediatricians for years and years and years. Who’s going to leave their trusted pediatrician, the pediatrician who knows their kids and knows their ailments and knows the way the family works? Like, nobody is going to leave their pediatrician and come to me. I’m new. They don’t know me. They are going to go to that other doctor who’s been in business for 20 or 30 or whatever years, and it’s going to take me a long time to fill up my practice.
And guess what, five years later, the waiting room was packed when I went to the doctor. Rather than just waltzing right in there and getting a seat in front of the doctor, I had to wait 5 or 10 or 20 minutes. I remember once showing up like just 5 minutes or 2 minutes before my appointment at, let’s say, 3 o’clock in the afternoon. Somebody else in the waiting room said I was here first. I’m like, I could have gotten here 45 minutes early for my 3 o’clock appointment, but just because I only came 2 minutes ahead of my appointment doesn’t mean that I have to wait for you to go even though your appointment is only at 3:15.
So, he was a very busy doctor at that time, and then I left the neighborhood, and I had to go find a new pediatrician for my children. But believe that people switch up their service providers all of the time. They switch their doctors. They switch their accountants. They switch their coaches, right? They switch their physical therapists. Look at the people that you work within your life and just notice if you’ve been working with all of the same service providers for the last 10, 20, 30, 40 years or if you’ve also switched things up or if you’ve needed new services and you’ve called in new people to work with.
It could be that you have a service, and people have not yet needed what you offer. Let’s say that you’re doing interior design. Somebody needs to be doing some home renovations, either for a new house, or they’re doing some renovations in their existing house, and that’s not something that people do all of the time. It could be there’s someone who’s just about to do some renovations, and they’re going to call you in. Or they need to buy some new furniture or redo the kitchen, whatever it is, but they’ve been living in the house for the last 10, 15, 20 years, and haven’t needed you, and now they’re going to be looking for somebody just like you.
So, believe ahead of time that your people are out there and they’re looking for you, and when you show up and call them in, call in the clients that really you like to work with who are exactly in the niche that you offer. Love to work exactly the way that you love to work like, there is a web designer in my neighborhood, and she does websites in a day, and I think that’s a fabulous business model.
It really speaks to me because, in one day, you sort of cut out all of the other things that you’re doing in your life, right. You focus only on the web design and the copy, pictures, colors, branding, and everything else, and you just throw in really intensively everything. Still, you save all that back and forth and back and forth time, and after 24 hours or whatever, it takes you breathe this huge sigh of relief.
You give yourself a huge pat on the back and celebrate everything you’ve accomplished, and then it’s done, and I think that’s a great business model, but some people would be like, oh my gosh, that’s so intense I can’t do it that way. So, you get to decide how you love to work and then believe that there are people in the world who want to work with you exactly how you love to work, and you guys are going to be the most amazing match for each other.
Number four, to attracting better clients you need to think about your clients on purpose. And what do I mean by that? You have clients that you are working with now, and you have clients that you’re not yet working with. It’s really important to spend some time thinking about the clients that you’re not yet working with. They’re missing something. The reason that they’re not yet working with you is because either they haven’t seen your marketing, they don’t know that you exist, or they do know that you exist, but they need a little bit more information.
There’s something about you that they don’t understand. Maybe you’re not explaining what you do simply enough, clearly enough, your language is too flowery, so they’re not quite sure if you are the right person for them or not the right person for them. Like, spend some time thinking about the people who are out there in the world they’re looking for you, right? It’s like there’s this hide and seek game going on, and you want to come out from behind the tree, out from the cave, wherever it is your hiding and call in your clients, and how are you going to do that?
Think how you can provide more value, how you can show up for your clients that are looking for you and sort of like wave your hands, wave your flag, like what’s it going to take for them to understand that you are the perfect person that can serve them. How can you describe their problem so specifically that they’re like, oh, she totally gets it? She understands me. She understands my need. How can you describe the solution that they’re looking for in their life, so they’re like, oh, yes, that’s exactly what I’m looking for?
Right, like, if you’re looking for a vacation to Hawaii and you see the pictures coming up on your internet with the beautiful beaches and the relaxing and the Pina Coladas and all of that gorgeousness and ocean and surfing and whatever it is. You’re like, that’s the vacation that I need. Sign me up right now. So, ask yourself what is it that your potential clients are missing that they haven’t heard yet, that they haven’t seen yet. How can you help them understand more quickly and clearly and specifically that you know what they need, and when you guys work together, you’re going to help them to solve their problems very, very quickly?
So, think about them on purpose, and you really need to put time in your calendar to spend thinking and just ask yourself how you can do that? What are they missing? What are they needing to hear? How can you explain it more clearly? It’s like a very, very specific thought process when you’re thinking about your clients and not just sort of like throwing things out there onto the internet and hoping that if you just like throw that spaghetti at the wall, something is going to stick. They’re going to be like, oh, let me just take that strand of spaghetti off. That’s what I need to eat today because that’s just really a waste of time and energy for you and your clients because we want to bring you together more quickly.
Alright, point number five, ask yourself if you are being the best client for the people who are serving you. Now, this ties back to the story that I gave you at the very beginning of the podcast about me hiring my first coach and was I the best client? But think about the people that you’re working within your life today, right? If you have a coach, are you the best client for your coach? If your coach gives you feedback if your coach gives you exercises or worksheets, are you doing the work that your coach gives you to do?
Why or why not because if you’ve hired someone, you really want to make time to do the work that they give you. Are you the best client for your accountant? Right? You have a business; businesses usually require accountants in order to file your taxes unless maybe you’re doing it yourself. Do you provide the paperwork, the documents, the receipts, the feedback on time according to their schedule, or do you drag it out a little bit because you have so many other things to do, and that’s kind of the less interesting part of your business is doing the accounting?
I think that for many of us, accounting isn’t the most fun part of our business. We like to be out there serving our clients, but the admin and paperwork is sort of the idea, the poor younger brother of the stuff that we do in the world, but that’s part of you being a business owner is showing up powerfully in all the ways that you are the CEO of your business and when you have bookkeeping and accounting to do you want to be the best client for the people who are helping you.
Ask yourself if you are paying your people on time that can be the electric company that can be the telephone company back to your accountant’s other people who are working with you like your VA’s. Do you pay people on time? If you want your clients to pay you on time, make sure that you are the best client for other people and you are paying them on time. Do you show up to your meetings on time? Do you show up five minutes late, five minutes early, exactly on time?
Again, if you want to attract best clients who are on time for the meeting, make sure that you’re showing up to your meetings wherever you’re going. It can even be to your doctor’s appointment. It could be to the PTA meeting in school, whatever it is, are you the best client for the other people in your life? And I was even thinking about this today when I was driving on the road, and I was like, you know what, I’m also a client of the roads, whether it’s the municipality or the government but when I show up as a driver on the road, do I let people in? Am I like road rage when I’m on the road?
Really we show up in certain ways in life in all different facets, and sometimes we wear 2, 3, or 4 hats, but just think about how you show up and if you’re the most compassionate person, understanding person. Do you have strict rules for your clients in your business, but you bend the rules in other places in your life? As much as possible, you want to be in integrity with yourself in all areas of your life, and I really do believe when you show up as the best client for others, you will attract the best clients who meet your client standards to you in your business.
Alright, so that’s what I have for you today, my friends. Let’s just do a quick recap of the five ways that you can attract better clients. Number one is to know thyself. Know how you work best. Number two is to create standards for your best clients, and if need be, have an agreement, have a contract. Make sure that it’s very, very clear between the two of you what the expectations are. Number three, believe that your clients are out there in the world, and they’re waiting for you to show up and let them know how they can work with you.
Number four, think about your clients on purpose. What do they still need to hear that they haven’t heard yet that’s going to make them turn their heads, open their eyes and be like, yes, I have to work with him? I have to work with her right now. They totally get me. Number five, make sure that you are the best client in all the ways that you are a client for other people in your life, and I think when you implement 1-5, you will for sure attract better clients into your business.
Alright, my friends, that’s what I have for you, and I look forward to seeing you next week on the podcast. Bye.
Thanks for listening to Mastering Money in Midlife. If you want more information on Debbie Sassen or the resources from the podcast, visit masteringmoneyinmidlife.com.