Why? The fear of losing them, alone, will wreck your life. You will be unable to give candid advice, and “slowly become a lackey”. David Ogilvy once turned down Ford, saying: “Your account would represent one-half of our total billing. This would make it difficult for us to sustain our independence in council.” Landing your ideal client immediately may not be as great for your business as you think.
This can be tough when you need work, but if a client approaches you who you know won’t be able to stay in business, regardless of if they hire you, don’t take them on. It doesn’t matter how great your work is, nothing you do will make up for their deficiencies. You may be hungry for work, but the success of your clients, ultimately defines you. Your profit margin is too slim to survive a prospective client’s bankruptcy.
If a client announced they were considering hiring Ogilvy, he would withdraw his company from the race. His reason? “I like to succeed in public, fail in secret.”
David picked this up from antique dealers. He realized that when a dealer drew your attention to a flaw in the furniture, he almost always gained your trust. If you do this too — before the client notices your flaws on their own, you will also gain their trust. It will make you more credible when you boast about your strong points.
These things put prospects to sleep. “No manufacturer ever hired an agency because it increased market-share for somebody else.” Clients care about themselves, talk about them.
Always do it for the same reason: if their behavior erodes the morale of the people working on their account. Do not allow this from any client.