No assholes and 11 other rules of client acceptance

farkasWant to keep your sanity – and earn a decent living?

Don’t be afraid to turn your back on potential problem clients – before they become problems.

In most instances this means not accepting the majority of prospects who knock on your door.

You’ve probably dealt with any number of difficult client relationships. After having had more than my fair share I’ve set a few very simple ground rules before I’ll start to consider taking on a new customer.
With that being said, I’ve accumulated at least 11 different signs that a prospective client is one that you should turn heel on and run from. While the presence of just one of these traits is often not enough to justify closing out discussions with a prospective client – if you recognize two or more of these characteristics – you should think twice about whether this prospect will make your life miserable.

Here Are 11 Prospects You Should Walk Away From

  1. Asks about your rate and billing increments in the first two minutes
  2. Spends over five minutes bad-mouthing their former consultant
  3. Has had more than two former consultants in the last 5 years
  4. Won’t agree to an up-front paid assessment before you make recommendations
  5. Has a filthy bathroom and office
  6. Refuses to go onto a prepaid annual maintenance and support plan – saying that ” they’ll never need to call “
  7. Is using hardware that was state of the art — back when you were in high school
  8. Has more than three financial controllers in the last five years
  9. The person contacting you is not an owner or the head of the accounting department
  10. Is in a rush and wants the work done unusually fast on an impossible timetable
  11. Is vague about where they purchased their software or in sharing details about their prior consultant.
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