I have to say my title sounds funny doesn’t it, don’t customers chose you and not the other way around? Well, the reality is that as part of the selling process you should be evaluating if a customer is right for you too. It’s a “dance”, they check you out, but you should also be checking out your prospect as well.
As an Christian business woman I look for opportunities where I am the best match for a client based on their needs and based on the services and products they sell. I simply will not take on a project where goods or services that are sold do not square with my values and I will even pass a client who has a questionable online reputation. If online reviews trash a potential customer and their business practices most likely a rocky business relationship with you will be created as well.
Recently, I’ve had an even more unusual situation of a high profile felon pursuinge my firm for services. Yes, we are niche providers and we are specialists in several important areas, but we will never trade our integrity or lower our standards of what we promote and who we select to promote for money.
My business model has always been to provide the best service possible at a fair price, but passing on certain business sectors as not being consistant with a Christian lifestyle. I had one situation where a man wanted us to promote his “player” dating site where he gave tips to men on how to “play” multiple women at the same time – pass. I had another who wanted us to promote a dating website and when I looked at the site it was soft core pornography featuring women from Peru – pass. Another prospect wanted us to promote male organ enlargement vitamin pills – pass.
One thing that I have learned over the years is that my firm is not a good match for every customer and for every need. Some things that prospects sell or want to promote simply do not square with my values. So, as part of my initial conversation with all clients I check to see if they are a good choice for us. If they are not there is no amount of money that will change my mind. (The male organ enlargement pill seller offered $25,000 and I still said no!)
I have found that once you compromise your integrity once it will be easier to compromise yourself again and again. So, as part of the selling “dance” I am reviewing a prospect too. Clearly, the end decision rests with the prospect on whether they employ us for a project or not, but we still work to chose our customers wisely in the initial conversation.