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Top-Shelf Tip No. 91:

"Life is a matter of choices, and every choice you make makes you."

John C. Maxwell

Optimize Growth By Turning Away Clients

Your time is limited. Not surprisingly, time management is one of the biggest struggles entrepreneurs and sales leaders face. Yet many professionals continue to trade time for money, acting as if time is an unlimited resource. As long as your client base is growing, this is okay, right? Entrepreneur Drew Kossoff says no. While it may seem like it's the right choice to accept every customer who's interested, this kind of blind acceptance can backfire.

Kossoff says the best move is to give some clients the boot and refuse to accept others. Don't maintain an open-door policy. Instead, put up a velvet rope and only let qualified candidates in. In the same way that VIP rooms and private clubs build demand through selectivity, you can use a "velvet rope" mentality to attract the best opportunities, stay focused and deliver better value to clients. We share Kossoff's advice on how to use the velvet rope strategy in this issue of Promotional Consultant Today.

Create an ideal client avatar. Think about what your ideal client looks like. What are the minimum requirements of a great client? To find out, create a customer avatar, defining key details such as the type of company that client would be, the niche it's in and the company's financial stability. Kossoff says that creating parameters for desirable clients up front allows you separate the whales from the minnows and helps you understand your goals.

Integrate the velvet rope into your core values. A velvet rope mentality isn't a PR stunt; it's a mindset that should affect every facet of your business, from marketing to pitching. This helps you live up to your ideal customer instead of wasting resources on people and projects that go nowhere. If you keep your services general-admission, you'll spread yourself too thin and limit your ability to provide your best customers with the service they deserve.

Design exclusivity into your services. Kossoff encourages sales leaders and business people to stake out market share by building some exclusivity into their services. Scarcity marketing works because it creates a feeling of exclusivity. If you consider yourself a luxury brand, your services are both exclusive and aspirational. This means that clients will aspire to be one of the select few who can meet your criteria and get onto the list for the VIP room. Making the cut will be a source of pride for your clients.

By adopting a velvet rope mentality—offering selective availability and saying "no" to unqualified prospects—you can often create more demand for your services or even increase the motivation to upgrade or pay a premium to access the service you offer.

To grow, don't be afraid to say no. When you turn away clients who don't fit your criteria, you build in more bandwidth for clients who do. By putting up a velvet rope, you signal to prospective clients that you're a valuable partner and you position your business for meaningful growth.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Drew Kossoff is an entrepreneur, conscious capitalist and CEO of Rainmaker Ad Ventures, one of the fastest-growing U.S. digital media buying agencies.