Finding Your Ideal Prospects

Watch out for these red flags when evaluating new leads

Ideal ProspectsIt is the beginning of the new year and I am in the process of filling my private client pipeline for 2014.  As part of that effort, I had several complementary calls scheduled with prospects last week  and it seems like God assembled the perfect mix of leads to remind me that not everyone is an ideal client for my business.

You see over the past two years I have worked hard to refine my profile of who I want to work with and it has helped me truly focus on those I am called to support with my gifts – Christian entrepreneurs who are partnering with God to transform the world for His glory.

Had I not been absolutely clear about my own mission,  I may have been inclined to take on any and all prospects that said yes to working with me or tried to “sell” those who intuitively sensed they were not my ideal client and hesitated to move forward.

Les Brown said: “Life is too short to convince people to be aware of who you are and the value that you bring” which means that any time you have to struggle to persuade a potential customer to buy your products or services, you are not operating from the perspective and expectation that God already knows exactly who you are meant to work with.

Furthermore, when you compromise your own standard you run the risk of getting into situations you will later regret.  For example, some of the prospects I spoke with last week were clearly not motivated by God’s agenda but rather the promise of financial gain and influence.  Others had the wrong expectations of what working with a Business Coach would yield them – a silver bullet for success without having to put in the necessary work.

The prospects who indeed turned out to be a great match for working with me and went on to make an investment in themselves and their business were the ones who considered God in their decision and were willing to take His lead above any advice received from me.  There was no “selling” involved, the conversation had a divine flow and trust was established organically.

I know all too well that when you are first starting out it is very tempting to take in any and all prospects.  Cash flow is tight, you hope to get testimonials/referrals and you want to gain experience in bringing your product, service or program to market.  It is more  important however that you don’t spend your precious time chasing prospects you won’t enjoy having as customers – they will drain your energy and take you away from serving those you are actually called to serve.

You essentially clog your pipeline and cut off the flow to what God intended to send your way.  Your train can’t arrive to drop off the customers you are praying for if there’s another one already parked at your station.  Be discerning in what you say yes to and pray for the strength to say no when you sense in your spirit that you are tempted to say yes for all the wrong reasons.

Here are some red flags that should make you think twice before moving forward with a prospect:

  • Your prospect is a no-show for your “complimentary” consultation or repeatedly reschedules
  • Your prospect expect lots of free advice/samples but never actually inquires about “doing business”
  • Your prospect nickels and dimes every offer you put on the table
  • Your prospect immediately asks you to make exceptions to how you normally do business
  • Your prospect never responds to any of your follow-ups
  • Your prospect’s values and way of doing business do not align with yours

The bottom line is: get 100% clear on who your ideal prospects are and be willing to let go of anyone who doesn’t fit that profile.  That’s not to say you can’t make the occasional exception as God leads – be open to special assignments and divine appointments.

If you would like to learn more about how to identify your ideal prospects and build a customer base that you absolutely love to serve, I invite you to schedule a complimentary “Next Level Business Success” session with me.

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  1. Sabine,

    I agree we need to be clear about our ideal or target client. That helps keep us on track. You mentioned that in those you are supposed to work with there is no selling involved. Please clarify for me. That doesn’t mean you don’t have a pipeline or sale funnel in place right? We should have a sales and marketing plan right?

    • Hi Julia, thanks for your comment. You are correct, as business owners we should absolutely have a lead attraction/conversion strategy and learn how to address objections. However, the sales process becomes much easier when we are in tune with who we are called to work with and adjust our strategy accordingly. When you organically attract the right audience, there is no need for a “hard sell”, twisting arms, never-ending follow-up, etc. – your offer will be clear and it will be easy for your prospects to say “yes” to working with you. I hope that helps clarify.

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