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In marketing, business owners hear over and over that they should only be working with their best, most ideal clients. It sounds great in theory…and the word “ideal” sure sounds nice. But what does it really mean?

Depending on what kind of business you are in, the answer can vary of course. But when you really get down to it, some common characteristics apply–whether you’re in dog grooming or high-end fashion design.

It’s really a matter of upstream versus downstream. Take a look at these 5 characteristics and see if you know what I mean by that:

1) They have problems you can easily solve.

2) They recognize working with you is critical.

3) YOU really enjoy working with them.

4) They will pay you what you’re worth.

5) They will refer clients to you over and over.

Ahhhh…each and every one of those feel really wonderful, don’t they? (It’s a lot more fun to be be pointed downstream in this department.)

THOSE are the characteristics of the kinds of prospects you want to hone in on in your business.

So, the next time you get off track when it comes to remembering who you most enjoy working with, all you need to do is come back to these 5 things.

When they are in alignment, the sailing is a lot more smooth…and I think you will find it makes so many other aspects of your business fall right into place.

What do YOU think? Are all 5 of these characteristics important to you? Would you add any others? Let me hear your thoughts in the comments.