Do you set business standards and stick to them? Do you consider all of your current clients, ideal clients? Or do you have the PITA clients? AKA as Pain In The Ass clients?
If I told you that you could go out, right now, and handpick who you wanted to work with, would you keep all of your current clients or would you get rid of some?
If you said you’d get rid of some of them, that’s because you haven’t established your business standards on who you will and won’t work with. You are willingly choosing to work with less than ideal clients.
That’s okay. We’ve all been there. You’re just getting started and you need to make some money in order to actually get your business off the ground or maybe you need your next client just to make payroll or pay rent. But, sooner or later you’re going to want to create those client standards.
In order to build a business that you believe in, and work with clients that you’ve always dreamed of, you must put standards in place and then USE those standards when a new prospect walks through your door.
I call this, my “Red Rope” client policies.
Have you ever been to an exclusive event, where they have red ropes in front, and they strategically pick and choose who they allow to pass that rope?
My policy works very similarly to that.
I have a list of things that I will and won’t put up with when it comes to my clients. I know this probably sounds harsh to some, but for every person that doesn’t meet my policy and I say NO to, I allow room for someone who IS my ideal client and will meet my policies.
Don’t ever settle!!
For me, if I’m doing a sales call and the individual is driving a car, it’s a NO go. If someone is driving a car they’re not 100% present and paying attention to our conversation (and they shouldn’t be, they’re driving!). However, there’s NO way for them to take notes on what we’re speaking about, which means their interest isn’t fully vested. I have literally canceled or rescheduled calls because they didn’t meet this “Red Rope” policy of mine.
Another one of my policies is that if we’re having a sales conversation, you just want to take action now. There are loads of people out there that really want to make a change in their business, but many have fear or deal with resistance, which to me means, they’re not REALLY ready to take action.
Again, this might seem harsh, but this is what is allowing me to work with people who are my dream clients, who are willing to pay me what I’m worth.
While I can’t do the work for you, I can help you understand why creating your own business standards and “Red Rope” policy is so important. Read on!
Top Ten Business Standards List
I’m not the only one who feels this way about working with ideal clients and investors. A guest on Success Unfiltered, Bobby Cardwell, decided early on in his business that he wanted to create a top ten list of standards that he and his business partner would follow.
Their goal of putting people first is so important to them that they didn’t want to take any risks and end up working with people who didn’t share their same vision.
Bobby and his business partner Bob (yep, Bobby and Bob), sat down and made this list of do’s and dont’s.
They even have what they call an Asshole Clause. They don’t want to work with assholes, so if they don’t reflect the same kind of ethics and morals as Bobby and Bob want, they won’t work with them.
Bobby has turned away large contracts because he knows that working with those individuals would be going against their standards. We’re talking about people who don’t respect Bobby’s people and may not even respect their own clients.
Having clients that don’t respect their standards would go against the goals that Bobby strives for with his company.
At the end of the day, Bobby shared that he and his partner have walked away from potentially millions of dollars. But, they’re not in it for money, so walking away makes the most sense for them.
Friends Don’t Always Make the Best Business Partners
A few years ago, Bobby and his business partner decided that they wanted to bring on a third partner.
They figured that the more people they had involved with the company, the easier it would be. More people, equals more value, more assets, more brainpower and more ideas.
The woman they were considering was very well connected in the advertising space and knew people at some of the larger insurance companies, which had the potential to help Bobby and Bob in the long run.
Additionally, she and Bob were friends. They had known each other for years and even owned an ad agency together. Bob and this woman had worked very closely together, so they trusted the personal relationship and decided to bring her into their business.
Bobby and Bob learned a very hard lesson by bringing this woman on.
Things weren’t going well. They approached her to let her know they wanted to continue working with her, so they explained where they wanted to go and her role in that. In the end, she more or less told them NO.
She wasn’t interested in being a part of the company any longer, so Bobby and his partner had to find the funds to buy her out.
The lesson? No matter the relationship you have with someone, you must go down your standards checklist and make sure that everyone is a good fit.
Bobby and Bob did not take the time to do this, simply because of Bob’s previous working relationship with this woman.
Learn from Bobby and do your due diligence to learn about someone’s background. Make sure you have all of your agreements in place, and that you go down your standards checklist and they meet them all.
Bobby shared three things that you should look for next time you’re thinking of bringing someone new into your company:
- Make sure that they share the same goals and aspirations as you and your company.
- Ensure they have experience in your space.
- And, finally, make sure that they can actually bring value to your company.
I really want to encourage each of you to create your own business standards and create your top 10 “Red Rope” policies, so that you can avoid working with clients and people whose vision doesn’t align with yours.
Don’t put your business at risk by working with just anyone. Take your time, create the list and then use it any time you’re going to bring anyone new on.
I would love to hear about a time where you used a “Red Rope” policy to ensure you were only working with ideal clients. Share below in the comments!