[SoloGrowth #02] The perfect prospect question

  • Stephen Pratley

You’re trying to do too much.

You’re a solo operator and yet your list of services is longer than a McDonalds menu.

It’s hurting your sanity, and your reputation.

Of all the advice I’ve ever given to small businesses of any sort, the one that happens most often is this:

Do one thing really well.

It compounds your reputation, your skills, and your margins really quickly.

You know this. You’ve read it a hundred times before, but what you haven’t done is to identify the type of customer that needs your highest value skill, so you can focus on that alone.

You’re probably starting at the bottom of the market, with unsophisticated clients who are a double whammy of hard.

  1. They’re hard because they’re inexperienced so you have to teach them everything.
  2. They’re hard because they’re unprepared so you have to set everything up for them.

Imagine you’re a small agency with a client who you want to run Facebook ads for.

The list goes on, so you end up doing ALL this for them, and none of it creates revenue until you can turn the ads on.

Now imagine a client who has all this.

One where you just need to work on their creative, targeting and budget management.

Who could you create the biggest return for?

The second one, right?

But we go for the first one because they have some cash, and no existing supplier to move out of the way.

All too often we let ourselves get dragged into activities which don’t take us towards our mutual goal, reducing our value.

What if we could change that?

Well, we can.

We live in an age now where we don’t have to look for business within the four walls of an airport hotel conference room while eating bad breakfasts.

We can go out and find the exact prospects we want. We just need to know what they look like.

You just need to ask yourself one question.

We take on bad clients because they’re prepared to pay us for all the annoying stuff that doesn’t move the needle, so what if we changed that.

What if we only got paid if we got a result?

If you only got paid if you got a result, what would your client need to have in place for it to be a no-brainer for you to work with them?

Stop and think about that for a moment.

The idea of getting paid on results is alien to a lot of people, but I’m thankful that I spent over a decade working on a LOT of affiliate campaigns.

In that business you don’t get paid until you get a result.

But you learn quickly that there’s a LOT of choice out there of people that you can work with.

So you pick the ones that have everything in place except the thing you offer.

A good deal for us would be someone who had a proven offer, reliable tracking, a track  record good creative but just needed some email traffic from our kind of audience.

Your criteria might be different:

Whatever they are, it’s worth listing them out and thinking about the kind of customer that has those things in place already.

You could save yourself a stack of unproductive work and focus on the thing you really love.


Stephen Pratley
Growth Tips for Solopreneurs
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