I Really Do Not Want You as a Customer

A lot is written about building customer profiles of those who you want as customers.

This of course is an essential part of small business marketing, especially if you want to build a solid business.

But, what about the other side – those customers that you do not want as customers.

Two blog posts recently have been written about this dilemma and give great insights into this problem as they shared their experiences.

One was written by Paul Hassing of The Feisty Empire and his post was Blood Money and the other was written by Yonatan Maisel and his post was The Next Client: When Your Bank Account Says “Yes,” but Your Conscience Says “No.” As you read each post you can see they gave the issue a lot of thought.

So, how can you stop this issue arriving at your doorstep unexpectedly?

It is simple really; work out who you do not want as a customer upfront. It actually is not that difficult and here are a few thought starters to help you.

Also remember to ask yourself why or what is it about the customer that bothers you or doesn’t fit in with you or your business.


Are there certain industries that you do not want to be associated with because of past or present issues?

Company Values

Often companies have their values on websites; however you can do a check with a search to see if in reality they match up with what is said.

Company Culture

Look at the way they or their employees express the culture and see if it fits with your business’s culture or you if you are a freelancer.

Company Practices

What companies say and do can be quite different. Again do a search and see what is being done before you make up your mind.

Products or Services

The industry and company may be fine, but you might not feel comfortable working on certain products or services. It is best to figure this out as early as you can.

Benefits of knowing who you do not want to work with include:

  • Makes it easier to say no when given a referral
  • Saves time weighing up the advantages (cash) versus your ethics
  • Helps you focus on those companies who you do want to work with

There are no right or wrong answers with this exercise as you are in charge of your own business. Just as it is really important to be clear who you want as customers, it is becoming just as important to know who you do not want as customers.


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