25 Who is Your Less Than Ideal Client?

Kass with sunglassesHey, it’s Kass and I want to tell you about a FREE webinar I’m hosting. It’s called, “Say Hello to Your Ideal Client,” and it’s packed FULL of goodness about why you need to niche down. After taking my webinar, you’ll be more strategic in your messaging and feel a sense of pride because you’ve found your voice and feel confident about who needs to hear it, when, and how.

Join me for this FREE webinar on Identifying and building your Ideal Client. You can register for a date that works for you by visiting vimandvigor.biz/idealclient


So, today’s One Burning Question is Who is my less than ideal client?

Let me remind you – as the CEO in your business, YOU are best qualified to understand who you want to work with and who you do not. Don’t ever take that for granted.

Many of us are still working part or full time and trying to get our business off the ground, so we know in the 9 to 5 life, we don’t get the benefit of saying, “nah, I’d rather not work with him on this project – he constantly works outside our company’s values.”  We suck it up and chalk it up to character building.

But in our own businesses, we have the luxury of setting boundaries and seeking out the kind of clients and customers we want to work with most. I teach this in the free webinar, Say Hello to Your Ideal Client.

And part of building the ideal client is to hone in who your non-ideal client is.

So, today I want to throw a few triggers for you to consider when you think about the kind of client or customer you want to attract or repel.

Again, only YOU know what is going to be best for your business, so these are only considerations for you. And of course, if you want to talk any of them over, I hope you schedule a call with me – I’d be happy to discuss. 


I’m not talking about personalization – you may even be offering this as your service. Nope, I’m talking about clients who want to slice and dice your products and services into something you don’t even recognize anymore.

So, unless you offer a la carte services, you may not want to venture down this path. You don’t have your payment services set up for this, you have no work flows for what they’re offering, or worksheets, or time in your scheduler or in any of your operational processes.

Unless someone is willing to pay dearly for this type of customization, you might need to help them find someone more suitable for their needs. And that leads me to payment.


Less than ideal clients may ask for special pricing, discounted pricing, or delayed pricing. They may try to not pay at all. They may try to barter or negotiate their way to something they can afford.

In these cases, it’s nice to show them how their needs may not meet their expectations. If payment is the ONLY barrier to working with this client, take your lowest offer and break down the benefits of your offer and ask if it’s what they need right now in their business.

Help them see how they will get a return on the small investment. If they still can’t swing the pricing, it may be time to say, “It sounds like you’re not ready to invest right now and I respect that decision. I’m going to send you some information that I think may help you in the meantime. When you’re ready, please keep me in mind.”

Bless and release friends, bless and release.

With that in mind, you may want to consider keeping a certain percentage of your time as “pro bono time.” This is outside your normal discovery calls, of course. So whether you do a free 30 minute strategy plan each month or give a huge discount to a not-for-profit on one of your products, you are doing your part to help other small businesses.

Resource Drain

If you have someone that drains you because you have to constantly remind them that they are working outside your client agreement, you may want to consider bringing them to the other side of the fence.

Your client agreements should outline when your available, your response time, your payment methods, the scope and nature of your work, etc. If that is not being respected, they are inching toward becoming a less than ideal client.

This is coachable. Bring your client back to reality with an eyeball conversation, have a truthful, but honest conversation about how you value them and enjoy your work, but that some of the communication is inching outside the client agreement and want to reset.

Some clients may feel like they’re becoming your friend, and in some cases that might be true – fantastic – but they still don’t get to cross the boundaries agreed upon in your client agreement.

You have a client agreement, right? Please call me so we can discuss this – I’d love to help point you in the right direction.

giraffe sticking out his tongueRude and Boorish

This is a no brainer, but I want to make sure you feel empowered here. You must grasp this before it happens. Think of scenarios, write out your rebuttal and then revisit them periodically.

I hate to say it but at some point, this is very likely to happen.

I’m not talking about social media trolls, I’m talking about potential clients that are downright rude, crass, ill-tempered, and boorish. They may try to flirt with you, use vulgar language directed at you, threaten you, or disrespect you in some way.

Please do not let that behavior continue. If you do not address it, it will continue.

In my 25 years in Human Resources, I can tell you the most powerful way to stop someone from bullying or harassing you is to put your foot down and put a stop to it firmly and confidently.

Your Value Sets Are Polar Opposites

Finally, you may want say goodbye to clients whose value sets are opposite yours.

This doesn’t mean that those think differently than you are less-than-ideal. Quite the contrary, they can ADD value to your knowledge and influence base.

What it means is someone who doesn’t value YOU.

Revisit your values and guiding principles. If someone is constantly violating these principles in their actions, responses, and work, you may want to put them in the less than ideal pile.

For example, my less than ideal client is Karen. My apologies to all women named Karen, but for me, she represents:

  • Busy and hot mess are her go-to excuses. If she’s not posting about how busy she is, she glamorizes stories about all her projects and meetings.
  • Karen heads down fifty rabbit holes in any given conversation and though we’ve discussed it on a few occasions, she is not sure how to formulate her base thought in one clear sentence.
  • So far, Karen has only implemented two of the action items from our strategy sessions. She claims she has it all in her head and will do it all someday.
  • Karen complains she has not gotten very far in her business.

My values and guiding principles are:

  • Accountability
    • Clear and concise communication
    • Foundational beliefs
    • Service-oriented
    • Honesty and Integrity
    • Emotional Intelligence

My Consultant/Client Value Set:
Mutual Respect – for resources, experience, and abilities.
Driven by Confidence – Plans for positive outcomes, and meets feedback with a teachable spirit
Committed to the Work – from start to finish, is invested in a holistic process. 

So as you can see, Karen violates many of those principles. She is not the client I pursue in my messaging.

I hope that you take some of these considerations into account when you think about who your less than ideal client is.

And don’t forget to join me for my FREE webinar on identifying, creating and integrating your Ideal Client in March. Register for FREE today at vimandvigor.biz/idealclient

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