You unknowingly attract the wrong clients – and how to fix that

A broad spectrum of clients exists. If you lined them up side by side, and graded your clients from A to F, with A representing your ideal client and F representing your headache clients, you’d realize not all clients are created equal.

When I give accounting professionals the Grade Your Clients assignment, it’s very telling. Some happily realize 90% of their clients are ideal. Whereas, others face the fact that 90% of their clients are not ideal.

So, how do you fix this?

First, not everyone is an ideal client. You enjoy working with some clients more than others.

Next, review your roster of clients. Be brutally honest. Who’s a joy to work with and who gives you headaches?

As you review your client list, note which qualities your best clients share. Now list the common qualities of your headache clients.

Are you dealing with an upper limit problem in your #accounting firm? That's when the only way to earn more money is to work additional hours. Read full post. #getpaidwhatyoureworth Click To Tweet

Over the years I realized my clients possess an upper limit problem. The only way to earn more money is to work additional hours. Raising their rates is an option, but they’re afraid of losing clients. So, the legacy clients pay lower fees than the newer clients. They tolerate headache clients, because letting them go is uncomfortable. And, they want to fix this but unsure how to do this on their own.



Do you attract or repel ideal clients?

You may not realize that what you do and what you say matters. The words you use and the things you discuss offer clues about who you attract to your accounting practice.

With this in mind, you want to attract your ideal client and repel your headache clients.

Whether it’s social media posts, your website or how you describe your services during network meetings, you either attract or repel potential clients.

Whether it’s social media posts, your website or how you describe your #accounting services during network meetings, you either attract or repel potential clients. Read full post. #getpaidwhatyoureworth Click To Tweet

The accounting professionals I work closely with tell me their PITA clients share certain qualities.

  • Price sensitive.
  • Keep you waiting – whether they don’t respond to emails, delay paying your bill or chronically late showing up to your scheduled meetings.
  • Ask for favors or exceptions, but don’t want to pay for them.
  • Full of excuses.
  • Don’t appreciate or respect you.


What key phrases do you think attracts those clients?

  • We provide affordable solutions.
  • Everyone’s our client.
  • Every client of ours gets free year-round tax advice.
  • No matter what your accounting or tax needs are, we are here to help.
  • Operate on a small business budget.

Most of these sites emphasize affordable rates and work with a general variety of accounting services. The website content talks about them and the services they offer. After reviewing a couple sites, they all start to blend together. Nothing stands out to let me know they really understand my specific needs.

Most did specify they work with small businesses. However, a small business is any company with less than 500 employees. YIKES!

I suggest you clearly identify your ideal client. Talk about them, and their specific challenges, on your website and in your social media posts.

Then connect the dots about how your services address their primary concerns.

Don't market your #accounting services to everyone. When you're specific you attract ideal clients and repel headache clients. Read full post. #getpaidwhatyoureworth Click To Tweet

By the way, it’s okay to also discuss who’s not a good fit for your services. At one point in my FAQ page I detailed the type of person who I don’t work with. Whiners who complain, never take responsibility for themselves and constantly give excuses for why things aren’t working are not a good fit for me.
Do you serve all clients?

#1 strategy to save your time and your sanity

If you’re like most accounting professionals, your days are busy. The beginning of the month is even more hectic with month end closing. Since you’re so busy, safeguard your time.

Start by removing the calendar link for a free consult from your website. Now, you may feel resistance with this suggestion. And, I fully understand.

You don’t want to shut the door to new clients. What if someone wants to speak with you, but a calendar link isn’t available? You may worry about losing a new client.

Your time; however, is your most valuable asset. Instead of allowing anyone at any time to access your calendar for a meeting, protect your time. Set a boundary.

Pre-qualify potential clients to avoid speaking with non-ideal clients. Ask a couple targeted questions to screen potential clients first. Then only give a calendar link to pre-qualified prospects.

pre-qualify to avoid headache clientsFollow my 4 step process:

  1. Potential clients answer a couple questions on a web form that’s embedded into my website.
  2. My assistant receives an automated notification when someone completes the form.
  3. Then he reviews the answers.
  4. If they’re pre-qualified, they receive an email with a link to schedule an initial consult. If they’re not a fit for our services, they receive an email response with a link to a free resource.

Here’s an advanced move – with a systematized process you can delegate the initial consults to a different team member. It doesn’t have to be done by you. In fact, I’m currently training one LeanLaw bookkeeper’s staff on how to successfully enroll new clients.

The exact steps to free yourself of headache clients

Not all clients are good for your #accounting firm. Some clients actually lower your income. Read full post. #getpaidwhatyoureworth Click To Tweet

Not all clients are good for your business. Some clients actually lower your income. We’ve all had them – the ones who never seem happy with your services.

You sense something about the connection is off, but you can’t pinpoint it. These clients cost time, money and energy.  Simply put, they aren’t an ideal fit for your business.

Potential clients fall into one of two categories:

  1. People who pay a little and want a lot.
  2. People who expect to pay for great results.

Once you onboard a headache client, you hold onto them for way too long. Sometimes your biggest client causes all the headaches. Other times, your low paying clients demand a lot.  Either way, these clients kill your profits.

attract ideal clients and repel headache clientsFollow these steps to free yourself of potential headache clients.

  1. Stop competing on price. High value clients consider your service an investment instead of a cost. In fact, if you price your services too low they’ll question your expertise.
  2. Position your service as an investment. Potential clients view you as a commodity when you emphasize the tasks. Instead focus on your expertise and the benefits your client receive from hiring your firm.
  3. Don’t sell your services. No one wants to be sold. Consistently educate your potential client about why your services are the best choice for their needs.
  4. Pre-qualify potential clients. You’re not obligated to talk with everyone. Create a similar process as the one above to screen potential clients.
  5. Slow down your onboarding process. Onboarding a new client too quickly may cause headaches down the road. Because of that, I teach my clients how to slow down their onboarding process. With this approach, you know whether someone’s a good fit or not before you enroll them into a monthly service.

Holding onto non-ideal clients reduces your revenue and drain your energy. Raise the bar to only work with clients who recognize your value. Your level of satisfaction, and your income, increases with this move.

The time has come to attract clients who happily pay your fees. With high value clients you no longer undercharge for your services. When you clearly communicate value to clients and separate your fees from time, your bank account grows. Claim your FREE RESOURCE  today and you will be on your way to earning more without working additional hours.