Most women would agree that Daniel Craig, George Clooney and Brad Pitt are pretty gorgeous guys. I am still hoping that one day George and I will be going out on a date and I am really serious about that! In fact, in my last corporate role when the Global Head of Knowledge Management asked me who did I want to marry and I said George – he kindly asked me if I had a back-up just in case that didn’t materialise. I mean really people you have to stay positive!!! However, when I first started dating guys, like most girls, if he seemed like a nice guy and not some weirdo I would go out on a date. After a while I began to realise that there were certain qualities I liked men to have – you know the type of thing I mean: having good manners, a great sense of humour, being kind to animals. Most women find these things appealing but as I got older and wiser there were other things that came into play like being able to have great conversations, not being moody (I really can’t bear moody people), being passionate about something and I didn’t even care if it was football! So as I got older I became clearer on the type of qualities I wanted to see in a man before I started dating him seriously. So how can you you take the wisdom of your younger years in finding a great guy and apply them to finding a great client? How do you spot a keeper?

Firstly, take some time to consider the key qualities you would like your ideal clients to possess. For example they must:

  1. respect your opinion
  2. pay you what you are worth
  3. pay your invoices on time
  4. meet with you on a regular basis
  5. give you information in a timely fashion so you can meet deadlines.
  6. What are the qualities your clients would like to see in you?

Ask yourself who are the clients that can energise and inspire you? Michael Porter suggests that it’s these people who you will do your best work for. Michael Porter is the Bishop William Lawrence University Professor at Harvard Business School. Once you have done the above then go ahead and:

  1. define your target market
  2. cater to their needs
  3. show your potential clients how you can deliver a return on their investment
  4. be approachable and welcoming – people buy from people they like

The more your clients get to know you the more they will trust you, so make sure that you build trust and credibility by delivering on your word. All relationships both professional and personal are two-way so it’s important that both of you like and respect each other, when this happens your client will become a ‘keeper’.

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