If you’ve been running your B2B business for a while, then you’ve probably had dealings that you’d rather forget. You may have felt that the client or customer in question didn’t appreciate the work you had put into the project, or wasn’t willing to pay the full value of what you offered. The first thing you should know is that this isn’t unusual, and it’s something that a lot of business owners and freelancers alike go through near the beginning of their careers. If you’d like to get out of it, here’s some great advice on attracting a better class of client.
My first piece of advice is to know your worth. In a lot of cases, this is much easier said than done. However, having a clear idea of your product or service’s worth is an essential step to finding a better client base. Sometimes, getting better clients can be as simple as making a few tweaks to what you’re offering. Once you establish that you’re worth a lot more than the business you’re receiving, your next step is to get this message across. If all your marketing efforts make your brand appear desperate; that you need their business in order to eat, then it’ certainly going to reflect in the way that your customers treat you. Quality clients want to be patrons of quality businesses, and they’ll do a lot to make sure they’re getting the best their money can buy. Part of this could be simply adopting a more confident tone in your communications. You should be able to say “my product/service is worth this much” in a way that’s going to make your prospects believe you. Of course, the rest of it is in the realm of marketing. Have a look at your website and social profiles, and look for ways in which you could give it a more professional slant. Getting a professional photographer into the office or commissioning a video case study can also be extremely effective.
My next piece of advice; make yourself flexible, but not easily manipulated. There are certain
clients out there who will want to be able to call on you whenever they need a problem solved, but won’t be willing to fork out the capital you need to make it worth your while. Instead, they order one of your more basic services, and then keep calling and emailing you about changing little things and adding more features to their original order. It’s pretty common for business owners to pander to all these requests, desperate to stay in the client’s good books. Before they know it, they’ve sunk way too much money into the project, are too embarrassed to add onto the client’s fee, and end up making a loss. It’s good to be flexible; it will help your professional reputation and will make your whole operation more versatile in the long run. However, you shouldn’t bend over backwards just because the client wants you to. If they want to change something mid-project, do some maths, and tell them that the change can go ahead but that there’ll be additional costs. At the start of the project, you should make sure you agree on exactly what the client has ordered up front. Some will leave it mostly to you, and others will want to take your place and micromanage everything. Whatever the case, make sure you have boundaries and policies for dealing with any client. Get into these habits, and you’ll be able to whittle your customer base down to the gems.
Finally, pay attention to what the better kinds of clients actually want. In almost any industry, there’s a pattern in the orders from high-end clients. This is usually in the nitty-gritty details: little features and tweaks in your product or service. When it comes to B2B clients, a lot of them decide what they want by doing a little spy work on their closest competitors, seeing what works, and then copying it. If you want to attract better clients, you should be doing the same thing. Research the kinds of customer you want to attract, and the precise details of the products or services they’re using. Then, fit those “little extra” features into your own business model, and start really flaunting them in all of your marketing materials. This will work exceptionally well if you can showcase some of those features in action, and what they’ve done for your clients in the past. Of course, narrowing down these features can be tough. You can help yourself out by keeping a close eye on your traffic and conversions following each little change.