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Back when I first launched my business — and dealt with my first batch of “stinker” clients — I decided to get more particular and intentional about the types of clients I worked with.  I’m a big list maker so I created a list of must-haves that would help me recognize a great client relationship.

In speaking and writing articles over the years, I’ve shared this list with a number of my colleagues and coaching clients.  I was delighted to learn that many still keep The List handy when evaluating which clients to bring on — and which ones to let go. Thought I’d share them again today.  (Note how you might modify them to evaluate your full time job or even your networking relationships.)

Signs of a Good Client Relationship

  1. You look forward to the work you are asked to do.
  2. You enjoy and communicate well with the people; there’s good chemistry and a valuable exchange of ideas.
  3. You believe in (or at least can see the value of) the organization and its products/services.
  4. You were brought in because of your expertise and are appreciated, valued, and respected for your contribution to the project or organization.
  5. You are paid fairly and promptly in exchange for your good work.
  6. You are allowed (most of the time) to work at a pace that is reasonable and allows you to do your best work; panic projects are the exception, not the rule.
  7. The client can help bring you more opportunities, either in the form of additional work or in enthusiastic testimonials or referrals.

If two or more of these factors are missing in any of your client relationships, it may be time to let them go and look for other opportunities.

What would you add to this list?


Are you among the hundreds of people who have already read The Intentional Networker™: Attracting Powerful Relationships, Referrals & Results in Business and are becoming more purposeful, polished and productive in their networking efforts? If so, I welcome and appreciate your comments.  Better yet, how about posting a review on Amazon or commenting on the book on Twitter or Facebook?  What did you like about the book? What was most valuable to you?