As an agency, you do hard work...
In other words, you provide real services to help your clients get results in return for a good fee.
Apart from info-product guroos, you're in a very different business. There is higher head cost, more investment (i.e. time, money, and hard work), and there is a maximum cap on how many clients you can serve... that is before sabotaging your lifestyle and the quality of your work.
So while it's great to get more clients, it's equally important for you to recognize the red flags on who NOT to take on.
Here's a few to get started:
1. Cost Only Clients: Clients who view your service as merely a cost, not as value-added, are always a red flag. Keep in mind, you're in the business of providing value. This means your clients are actually purchasing money at a discount by investing in your service, not just a cost to be written off.
2. Hourly Rate Clients: When clients are asking for your hourly rate, they've already shifted their mindset from how much value you can provide to how much work they can squeeze out of you... Does it really matter if you're only spending an hour but you're getting them $10 return for every $1 invested?
3. Know-It-All Clients: Sure, we all need to listen carefully to what our clients want. The goals they want to achieve and the challenges they're facing. But the truth is they came to you because whatever they've been doing doesn't work. No matter how great they make it sound like they're doing right now.
4. Unreasonably Busy Clients: Are they always showing up late, demanding last-minute deadlines, or pushing the boundary line by requesting even more meetings? People who don't respect your time won't respect your work nor you as a person.
5. Needy Clients: One needy client can throw your whole month's schedule off track. No, you don't need to be 24/7/365 on call for your clients. And no, you don't need to give them your cell phone and answer SMS texts at 2 am in the morning. Common, you're a service provider not a nanny.
6. Money Trouble Clients: While financial difficulty may not be your clients' fault, but it's always a big warning sign. Whether it's a shortage of cash-flow or because they want a last minute revision or because they want the upper hand in future negotiation. You should seriously consider firing the clients once and for all.
7. Full of Excuses Clients: Success is rarely the result of one single factor. It's a combination of the product, the strategy, the delivery, the marketing, and the copy altogether. If you realize your clients are giving lame excuses for not providing you with what you need, they're not serious about getting the result and you can forget about getting that testimonial.
8. Just Give Me Clients: You'll definitely run into prospects who ask you, "All I need is XYZ service, don't ask that many questions and just give me the quote." So keep this in mind: You are NOT required to give a quote just because someone asks for one.
(I learned this from my mentor, Lukas Resheske.)
9. No Clue Clients: You've probably had the experience (& headache) talking to clients who have no clue what they're doing - no product, no audience, no niche, no avatar, no testimonial - and they want you to make them rich, overnight. We do marketing, not magic.
10. No Competitor Clients: This one is counter-intuitive. Isn't it good to have no competition? Actually no, because 99% of the time it's not because there isn't any competition but just because your clients have too big an ego and WANT to believe they're super unique. You can't help an ostrich who's plugging its head into the sand.
Now, I guarantee you'll recognize more red flags for your business but this is a good list to start with.
Of course, firing existing clients and turning down potential prospects is hard. One of the methods to make it a lot easier (which in turn makes your life easier) is to understand this: