It’s managing your business and then market. Before you market, determine the type of clients and partners you want to work with.

10 Traits of a Client From Hell

We’ve all had them… clients we’re sure are from hell! With the help of a wonderful group of business owners, executives, and marketing professionals, I’m putting together a list of attributes to keep your ears and eyes open to.

Clients from hell traits:

— don’t understand agreements they make or sign

— spend more time training them on matters they said they understood

— exhibit or tell you stories about ways they’ve been unethical or dishonest behaviors

— expect you to create proposal (paperwork, etc.) immediately, but getting them to follow up in a big chore.

— don’t have the authority to make a decision (even though they said they did)

— don’t know what they need and waste your time “on a fishing expedition”.

— don’t have a budget for your services.

— have unrealistic expectations…champagne taste on a beer budget.

— don’t pay you on time.

— agreed to your level of service for their situation but expect higher levels of service.

Defining Your Ideal Client Actions

Step 1
Create a client from hell profile on the first 1/2 of a piece of paper. That’s a list of attribute YOUR clients from hell have exhibited.

Step 2
Turn each negative around.

Step 3
Tear the negative attributes up and burn the paper (it’s so healing).

Are you ready to become the obvious choice for your ideal clients? Defining a niche, delving deeply into who YOUR ideal clients really are, segmenting your client base, and creating a Go/No-Go List you (and your team, family and strategic partners can use) helps firm save money and market smarter. Discover more here


What attributes have your clients from hell had? Add to this list by commenting below.

(c) 2010 Elevating Your Business, Maria Marsala, Business Coach

Running Low on Time, Money, and Patience?

It’s Time to Create Your Ideal Client Profile!

Without an Ideal Client Profile (ICP) you’ll find yourself working too hard, spending too much, and wasting valuable marketing potential. I know because, like so many other business owners, I have been there. So what is an Ideal Client? Believe it or not, it isn’t just anyone with a checking account! You’ll know your ideal client because they’re your best client.

How do you spot your Ideal Client? They:
• Easily pay you on time and don’t ask you to lower your prices.
• Understand and value what your services can help them accomplish.
• Refer you to others without even being asked.
• Are repeat clients whenever they’re ready for another “shot”.
• Give you energy – emotionally and financially!

Are you attracting your ideal clients? Or are you attracting clients from hell?

It’s important to know who your Ideal Clients are. After all, the purpose of creating an ICP is to make your business and personal life easier. The profile brings consistency and focus to all of your marketing messages, making them powerfully effective. You’ll know exactly which clients are worth your time, and which aren’t. No more worrying about chasing clients and spending dollar after dollar.

After all, isn’t there more than enough “stuff” for us to do as business owners?

Defining your ideal client doesn’t mean you can’t change it. It doesn’t mean that you can’t accept clients who aren’t your ideal either. But you won’t even want to work with anyone else, once you’ve witnessed the benefits of working with your Ideal Client. Your ICP will help you target your best clients, and monitor your company’s marketing efforts. You’ll be able to note, track, and evolve with changes in your market – allowing your business to grow instead of hitting a wall.

When you identify the type of client YOU want to work with you’ll:
• Have more free time because all of your marketing/networking/PR efforts will be targeted.
• Build confidence as you work with people/organizations/businesses who appreciate your skills.
• Focus your marketing message, and communicate with clarity when you speak or network.
• Be able to create a business, marketing, and financial plan much more easily.
• Find that your ideal clients often know others who fit your ICP and can easily refer them.
• Gain expert status in a particular area, which will bring more business.
• Be found more often on the web because your keywords will be consistent.

What else happens when you create an ICP?  You’ll leave a remarkable impression and the people you meet with remember you longer.  You’ll attract great clients because your market material will show that you understand their specific wants and needs.  For example: With my ICP, I found that 95% of my ideal clients wanted to create million dollar businesses and had businesses that had employees.  However, they wanted to work less and have a better life outside the office.   Armed with this information, I changed who I was targeting in my networking efforts, marketing materials, and speaking engagements so that I was around more of those types of business owners.  My ICP also helped me create articles, programs, ebooks, templates, and classes to sell my ideal clients because the topics were what they needed to reach their goals.

The many ways to use the ICP to create additional streams of income are endless.  So take a risk and niche.  The time to create your ideal client profile is today!

© 2001-2011 Elevating Your Business. Maria Marsala is a forensic business coach, speaker, and author of eight workbooks geared toward to help CEOs and executives in the financial and professional services industries. Her Stop Working with Jerks CD provides step-by-step tools — templates, samples, audios, spreadsheets and group coaching — that help create an Ideal Client Profile. Visit our store to learn more

How The Teal Car Effect Affects Your Business

You know how you purchase a teal car (or your favorite color ‘or type of car) and then all of a sudden it seems as though everyone has that car?

Without getting technical,  what’s happened is that you’ve stimulated a part of your brain that notices such things.

The same thing happens in business.

Once you create your ideal client profile; listing the exact person you want to work with — you’ll notice them around you in droves.

I’ve seen the same thing happen within days of creating an ideal employee profile, ideal partner profile, ideal boss profile, ideal office and so much more.

Try it!

If you don’t know where to start, go here

P.S.: Technically it’s called Reticular Activating System or RAS for short.

16 Places You Can Learn More About Your Ideal Clients

Congratulations! You’ve invested time into creating an Ideal Client Profile. You are already ahead of the pack because you “get” the importance of target marketing and you want to work with “perfect” clients. You want to target clients who . . .

· appreciate what you offer

· are willing to pay you the big bucks

· come back for more of your services

· automatically refer you to other ideal clients

. . . because they “get” how you help them.

You’ve created your Ideal Client Profile using demographics, technographics, psychographics and geographics. You even have five high-priority questions to ask potential clients in a discovery interview; these questions are designed to gain clarity about their pains, wants, and needs. You’ve even targeted some companies you believe “fit the bill”.

Now you want to do some additional checking. Where can you learn more about the company or individual you plan to target? Use the information-gathering resources listed below to take your Ideal Client Profile to the next level.

1. Their website

2. Their marketing materials

3. Dunn and Bradstreet

4. Check LinkedIn for people who have worked for them

5. Websites such as,,,

6. Association trade publications and

7. Thomson Reuters

8. Hoovers

9. Gales List of Associations (Usually available free through your library.)

10. Searches and alerts on: Google, Twitter or

11. Ask family, friends, and colleagues

12. Ask your librarian for resources available at the library or its online database

13. Local economic, rural or small business development corporations

14. Association Executives Directory

15. Their local Better Business Bureau

16. A search on your favorite search engine, plus one with the word “complaint” in it

Good luck! Remember that all the time and effort to develop your Ideal Client Profile will pay off. You’ll attract new clients easier, retain them longer, and be more profitable with less effort!

Special thanks to my LinkedIn Colleagues who helped me compile this list.

Like this article? You’ll also enjoy Stop Working With Jerks: Attract Your Ideal Clients http://www. clients.

© 2010 Maria Marsala is a former Wall Street trader, business coach, profit advisor, speaker, and author of eight workbooks geared toward helping business owners and executives build bigger businesses without sacrificing their personal lives Enjoyed this article? Sign up for our free FOCUS! Enewsletter and receive updates and articles that will expand your mindset. Whether you’re new to business, or well established- heat things up a bit! Do it right now at

But I want more than one target audience!

Ideal Client Bullseye“But I want have more than one target audience!” “I’ll get bored if I only work with one type of client.  I’m told this over and over and over.

Actually, the most successful companies started out with one ideal client and one niche.

You have that too. But you may have additional market segments. And there might be added income available when you look at the segments.

Let me explain. I was working with a leadership coach (her niche) who was targeting executives (ideal client); and working this way wasn’t working for her. Then I asked her create a list of everyone she could possibly help. It was a very long list that included CEOs of growing firms, executives, new managers, new business owners, companies, etc. While each of these may seem to be different they are really marketing segments of her one niche – leadership coaching.

Each of these people on her list could use her services, and each would have an interest in being better leaders. First let’s look what ideal clients look like within a niche. Ideal means that you’re looking to target (spend time marketing/networking/doing social networking to attract) the person/company, etc. who consistently will come looking for what you’re selling, who will pay you what you deserve, refer others to you, and come back for more of your services when they need it.

After much discussion, I suggested that her ideal clients were companies in the pharmaceutical industry (the industry she came out of) who were located within 3 hours of travel from her home since she was a mom with small children and wanted to be home most nights. These companies would have sales forces full of “leaders” at different levels. The companies would pay her to help develop their staffs into leaders.

So instead of targeting one executive at a time, she would target “masses” of executives by instead targeting the companies they were located in.

The rest of those on her “list” would be market segments. What I suggested is that as she target her ideal and as she does this she creates articles, CDs, audios, workbooks, etc. — a variety of products along with trainings. She could then target her market segments – who most likely couldn’t afford her services – but could afford her group training program and products.

What this might look like on her Leadership Coaching website is that she’s have a tab for Corporations and another for (let’s say) small business owners and another for executives.  On each of the pages she’s talk to “that” audiance’s pain and offer solutions (her services and products).

Who is your ideal client and why did you pick them?