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July 09, 2007


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Wim van Nunen

This was my philosophy entirely when I set up my business and thought of an appropriate name.

Love the article.


Jay Griffin

When I first started in sales, I spent a lot of time learning how to close and got very good at it despite the fact that it was wrecking my business due to not being clear win/win like Robert illustrates here.

After realizing what ideal clients really were, it was still tempting to close a win/lose, etc. especially when I was feeling desperate for a sale. Every single time those closes yield bad fruit.

Business is so much more fun with well qualified clients and well designed 'requirements for engagement'.

Andrew Finkelstein

Your win/win article hits the bulls-eye!

Frankly it's a very bad business practice to do business with clients who you know from the get -go don't pass muster.

When I've taken this type of client the one overriding factor I've noticed is that's it's always about me and my "need"...and that's the wrong place to come from in a client could I possibly help them get the results they're looking to get when I'm focused on me? I can't!

Without exception whenever I've bowed to my own personal pressures and accepted a client who doesn't meet the "requirements" I end up "on the rocks".

Thank you Robert for reminding me once again and also giving me a tool to work with so I can remind myself.

Rich Brooks

I usually get a feeling in my gut when I feel a prospect is going to turn out to be a bad least for us. I can almost visualize them running around my office carrying a giant "red flag" like something out of Braveheart. (Almost) every time I ignore this feeling and take the business I live to regret it.

As an entrepreneur, it's very difficult to say no to business. However, you're not doing you client, yourself, or your reputation any good if you take on bad jobs, or jobs that are better suited for someone else.

Just today I saw that happening and plan on recommending a "competitor" to the prospect because I believe they're in a better position to help them.

Judy Murdoch: Highly Contagious Marketing

I've been thinking a lot about what an ideal client is for me since I read, "Attracting Ideal Clients" a couple years ago.

The best first step for me has been keeping track of the qualities of clients where there is a win-win situation. And to know that the list will change and evolve.

The toughest situations for me are the ones that are not clear cut. When the prospective client has most of the characteristics of an ideal client but not all of the characteristics.

Some deal-breakers are simple: can't pay my fees, looking for someone who will do all their marketing for them, etc. But there are times when I don't know if it's a deal breaker until I've actually experienced the problem in a client situation.

Thanks for the reminder that my standard for enrolling a new client is being as certain as possible that it will be win/win.


So true, so true. It takes a while to get to the point where you don't have to accept every project.

It is better to turn business away and focus on attracting tht types of clients you can really help than to work with clients who aren't ready, or lower your price just to get "the gig".

Great article!


I spent over 20 years in professional sales, and the clients or customers who aren't a great fit usually end up unhappy. They think they've wasted money or made a poor buying decision.
There are many sales people who are very skilled at 'getting people in the moment'...the moment when they're ready to buy. You'll be more succesful in the long run, if you look for clients who understand your message and are a great fit for your product or service.


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