All companies need business. Getting the right kind of business is the issue. Certain clients can put your company out of business. They are not the right fit. Other clients are wonderful to work with. Sometimes you feel amazed that you are getting paid to do something so pleasurable.

How can you connect with the folks you will be most successful with? Here is how I came to think about it. This is what I would tell our employees: “We are a design-build company. We are special and unique. Only certain people deserve us. People are privileged to work with us. We don't bid, because we are not a commodity."

Basically, we were copping an attitude. We were different. We were not just any remodeling company. How did we I put this message out to potential clients when meeting with them? I would say these things:

  • “We work with people who want a company that does things right the first time.”
  • “We can’t promise the absence of problems as remodeling always involves some. We strive for very few problems and we will deliver good solutions to any that happen.”
  • “We only do a certain amount of business a year so we can make the good folks who engage us feel smart about having decided to do so.”
  • “We don’t try to get your project by bidding. Instead, we work as your paid consultant to plan how to get your project done.”

Those are the key points. I would expand on them and sometimes provide examples of how we fulfilled what we said we do. If all that sounded good to the potential client, then it made sense to set up a formal working relationship to do the small job of figuring out what the big job (the remodeling project) actually was and would cost.

Do you find yourself repeatedly working with people who don’t appreciate how special you and your people are? Get clear about those folks who are a fit. Sometimes that involves telling some folks that you are not a fit for them. Copping an attitude in the first place can give you the courage to do just that.