It’s important for every business owner to review and evaluate clients on a fairly regular basis. Every entrepreneur needs to figure out whether a customer/client is either of use to them or should go through the dreaded culling process.
So it’s vital that you ask these two important questions: Do they add value to your company? Or do they annoy the living shit out of you?
In figuring out which clients to retain and which ones to scrap, I recommend using the love-hate quadrant to guide you in your decision-making process.
It can be difficult to determine which filters to use when deciding who you should keep and who you should let go of.
Besides the obvious ones, like whether particular clients bring in small or big revenue, growth opportunities, and profitability – you need to be aware that certain filters usually lead to an emotional feeling between you and the customer.
Which can often result in you hating them.
So instead of relying on your emotions to figure out whether or not they should be kept or dumped, I recommend using a simple love-hate matrix to help you decide which route to take.
There are four different categories that you can place your clients into that will help motivate your decision:
Love-Love Quadrant – will contain your list of customers/clients that you love and appreciate the most. They’re the clients that you want to keep, the clients that you love and that love you in return. They pay well, the work that you do for them is always appreciated, and you enjoy the process and relationship that you’ve established with them. They’re also a great cultural fit and refer you to new clients all the time. So you need to give this category of clients 80% of your time, focus and energy – making sure that you look after them and their best interests.
Love-Hate Quadrant – consists of clients that love you, but you absolutely hate them. You usually run into issues when dealing with them, as they can be a nuisance and overly demanding. The money that they bring in isn’t too great, especially considering the work and effort that you have to put in. But, because they love you and the service/product that you provide for them, it’s wise to try and work them into the love-love quadrant. Make your staff aware of the issues that you have with them and that they have with you, then come up with solutions or offers that can extract more money and better opportunities from them.
Hate-Love Quadrant – this category is for the clients that you love, but they unfortunately hate you. While they’re constantly down your throat with complaints and criticisms, they still bring in a nice amount of money to your business. They aren’t always happy with the work that you provide for them and they make sure that you’re aware of that. While it seems like culling them would be a better option, you should try and address the issues that they have, attempt to satisfy their demands and try to work them into the love-love quadrant.
Hate-Hate Quadrant – these are the clients that you hate and they hate you. It’s mutual. They don’t have much to offer, especially in terms of profits and they consistently give you a hard time. When you despise a client so much that you cringe at the idea of doing anything for them, then it’s probably time to wipe them out. What you should do is work on ways to get rid of them – so that they no longer bring you stress. One of the easiest ways to do this is to just drastically increase your pricing or mention that you will not be renewing their contract.
This matrix is a great tool to use during annual strategy sessions.
It will help you determine and categorise which clients help you and your business, while either working on creating a better experience for those that you still want, or implementing a plan to get rid of those that you don’t.
It’s a simple, easy-to-use process to apply to your business strategy.
I would absolutely love to throw you into the love-love quadrant and list you as one of my top clients. So do us both a favour and get in touch with me.
It will change your business for the better. It will make you the leader that you’ve always wanted to be. It will give you clarity and vision. It will also make my day.
Squeeze me in if you don’t have the time, make the effort to grab my attention. I will be the best choice you’ve ever made:
+2783 253 3339