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Client Selection Process

Select your clients as carefully as they select you.

client selection process

Step 1: Define desirable client characteristics.

What makes a good client? What would make you want to work with them again? What would make you NOT want to work with them again? List the characteristics, then weight them.
Vital = 3
Important = 2
Nice but not essential = 1
You may also choose to add pass/fail criteria.



(P/F, 1,2,3)











































Step 2: Evaluate and rank your clients.

If you have included pass/fail criteria, evaluate each client against them. Eliminate any that fail. (You have just fired them and will not pursue future work with them unless or until they can meet the criteria).
Rate each current or prospective client on a scale of 1 to 5 for each criterion. Note where you are missing critical information needed to accurately score a client. Multiply the criteria scores by their weighting factors and sum the scores for a total weighted score. Now rank the clients based on the total score.
What do you notice? Where are the logical break points? Are you currently chasing work with clients that you should reconsider? Are you spending your limited marketing time and money with the best clients?
The top ranked clients are your “Platinum” clients. They deserve your most focused efforts. Next are the”Gold” clients. They are important sustainer clients for you firms and should be actively managed. “Silver” clients should not be ignored but can be managed on a limited basis. Finally, the “Fools Gold” clients should be eliminated from your current marketing plans.  You should revisit this ranking annually.

Step 3: Build a strategic marketing plan for each Platinum and Gold client.

Start by assigning a “Client Service Manager” whose responsibility is to manage the marketing plan for one or more clients. They do not necessarily have to be the only or even the main client contact, but they do need to commit to making sure that the plan is being “worked” contacts made, key information gathered, etc.
The next action item is to analyze the client. How do they make decisions? Who has authority?  What are their personalities like? What do they look for in hiring decisions? Who will help us? Who will block our success? 
Gather critical information on the organization, such as organization charts, Vision, Mission and Values statements, Capital Improvement Plans, published procurement rules, and sample contracts. What is missing? How can you get it?
Now develop a contact and relationship building action plan. Who needs to meet who? Look to match personality styles. Remember “zippered” relationships will pay the biggest dividends.

Step 4: Gather and test the information, revise the client ranking.

Use the information you have gathered and the results of initial client meetings to test the assumptions you used to complete the ranking. Has anything changed? Schedule a time to revisit the client selection process.
Now select your target projects—and start winning!

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S.R.Walker and Associates, Inc is a professional services consulting firm providing strategic planning, marketing and management consulting, training and coaching.

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S.R.Walker and Associates, Inc is a professional services consulting firm providing strategic planning, marketing and management consulting, training and coaching.
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