A fantastic part of each Athena Executive meeting is the Networking Skills Training. These are short sessions aimed at providing quick tips and techniques for members and visitors to maximise their networking activities.
In October, Gina introduced to us a way of simply breaking down our business to achieve the ultimate client list.
Dream Client Traits
- Ideally should constitute 5-20% of your business (a minority)
- Hard(er) to meet and sign up for your product/service
- High paying
- Interesting projects
- Have very high expectations of you (your time, effort and results etc)
- Great opportunities for long-term relationships and/or repeat business
- Can be great for attracting other dream clients
Cream Client Traits
- Constitute 20-40% of your business (not quite a majority)
- Easy to meet
- Well paying
- Often provide interesting projects
- Have reasonably high expectations of you
- Sometimes lead to long-term relationships and/or repeat business
- Are often great referrers to dream clients (or other cream clients)
Bread & Butter
- Constitute 50-70% of your business (the majority)
- Very easy to meet – often without any advertising or referral (they could even be ‘walk-in’ clients)
- Low paying
- Often only require your most basic products/services
- Have low expectations but still looking for quality
- High level of repeat business
To identify the clients in each of these categories, ask yourself:
- What do they buy from me? Is it the lower priced products or services, the higher priced items or somewhere in between? How often do they buy from me?
- Where are they located? Are they local, international, online or offline clients?
- How did they find me? Through my website, advertising, networking connection or through word of mouth?
- When do they become a client? Do they need lots of nurturing before deciding to buy or are they ‘walk-in’ clients? Are they repeat clients?
- Why are they good for my business? Are they interesting and pleasant to work with? Do they pay well (and on time)? Do they offer great testimonials for my business and send other clients to me?
- What do they look like? Are they male or female, young or old etc?
- What do they do? What is their profession? What are their interests? How much do they earn?
It’s better to have a mix of all 3 client categories rather than choosing to stick to one.
If you become totally dependent on a few dream clients to be the main source of income for your business, it becomes risky. What if one or more of your dream clients suddenly decided to stop working with you?
Working only with cream clients can be enjoyable and they definitely support your business financially – but only just. You still work very hard for these clients but you have to maintain a steady stream of them to make it worthwhile.
Only bread and butter clients might be the way you have to start your business in the early days – they take up your products/services easily, they may offer repeat business and the work is usually straightforward. However, you need a LOT of them coming through the door to keep your business afloat. This can become very draining on time and resources with little to show at the end of it.
The trick is to maintain a good flow of bread and butter clients with some core cream clients and a few dream clients (depending on your business of course). Reduce the risk of becoming too reliant on the higher categories by constantly reviewing your current client database and identifying the mix you have.
How is your triangle looking at the moment? How would you like it to look and what do you need to do to change things?
Inspiring entrepreneur, master networker, visionary business leader and unconventional business thinker, Gina Romero embraces every opportunity with boundless energy and contagious enthusiasm.
Managing Director of The Athena Network, Gina has been featured in Her World, SG Entrepreneurs and on 938LIVE ‘They are Making a Difference’ series, and has quickly become known for her ultra business networking and brand ambassador skills. Gina is also honoured to be part of the Women’s Register team with Singapore Council for Women’s Organisations (SCWO), which enables her to bring her down-to-earth approach to aspiring female entrepreneurs and business owners.