Client Rejection Ratio for SMB technology consultants (SMB Consulting Best Practices book excerpt)

Happy holiday weekend to u! Harryb here and I am the author for the above title. I like to post up a virtual book reading and this is it! This is my infmaous BRELSFORD’S DOZEN with tips and tricks you can use immediately to make money as a technology consultant.Here ya’ go:

Brelsford’s Dozen: Client Rejection Ratio

I discovered I needed an SMB consulting guideline to help me stay focused on selecting good clients. When I operated under no such rule, client selection decisions tended to be emotional and political, if not made in occasional desperation. Later, as a successful SMB consultant and after looking over my business development practices, I determined that I was rejecting about half the potential clients that asked for my services. So I devised the following rule for myself:

On average, reject six out of twelve clients. Let me shed some light on how this rule works:

· The long run — When you first open your doors for business as an SMB consultant, it’s probably not practical to say “no” to nearly anyone who wants to hire you. Sometimes you just have to take what you can get. Perhaps you’ll reject only the most offensive prospects. To be honest, it took me years to get my practice to where I could comfortably turn away half the business.

· Natural laws — To some extent, the marketplace is already perform­ing this winnowing for you. If you count how many sales calls never go past discussing your rate or how many client meetings you’ve attended where both you and your client discover that the service you provide is different than the one required by the client, then you’re probably close to a 50 percent client rejection ratio without even knowing it.

· Comfort zone — If you have the confidence that leads will flow to you and being selective is critical to your success, you’ll also have the confidence to say “no” when it doesn’t feel right between you and a prospective client.


Harry Brelsford, CEO at SMB Nation (

MBA, MCSE, CNE, CLSE, CNP, MCP, MCT, SBSC (Microsoft Small Business Specialist)

PS – did you know my Windows Small Business Server 2008 (SBS 2008) book is almost here? Yes!


1 Comment

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One response to “Client Rejection Ratio for SMB technology consultants (SMB Consulting Best Practices book excerpt)

  1. Rob Smorfitt

    i agree. choose your clients. often would-be clients shopping around are not what you want. you choose then target them with marketing until they are yours.

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