What’s Your Red Velvet Rope Policy?

in Business

What's your red velvet rope policy?If you’re not sure what the Red Velvet Rope policy is – it’s the policy you should have in place to help determine which clients you will accept, and which you will avoid.

A bunch of us are reading Michael Port‘s book, Book Yourself Solid, and he’s the guy who came up with the idea of the Red Velvet Rope policy. I suggest picking up the book (it’s inexpensive) and reading the first chapter yourself, as it talks about this in great detail.

The gist is this: when you work with people who are not ideal for you, you will actually prevent yourself from getting booked solid. You’ll work your butt off, get crazy frustrated, waste time, and do work that is not ideal for you which will probably take you longer and leave you with no satisfaction.

My Red Velvet Rope policy is simple. It was easy for me to put together, because I have worked with both ideal and non-ideal clients, so I can recognize the qualities that I prefer very quickly.

The people who get past my red velvet rope are: People who seek out my services because they believe they can succeed with them. People who trust me to do my best work. People who are kind, generous, and want to do good by their clients and customers.

1. People who already believe my services will work for them. This is important to me, because I don’t want to spend all my time convincing my clients that these things work. That is not an effective use of my time.  I’ve discovered that working with people who don’t really see the benefit in what you’re doing for them is like playing chicken. It’s difficult to please someone who already has a negative outlook on your work or your industry. I currently work with Overture Technologies on their Student Loan Marketplace product, and they represent a client who actually wants to use blogging & social media, and because of this, their return has been awesome.

2. People who think I know what I’m doing. Ever have a client seriously doubt your choices? I haven’t had this often, but I have had clients who believe they know better than me. What they wanted was an assistant, not an expert. To me, this is not ideal. One ideal client who actually trusted me with everything was Matt Wadsworth, an Internet marketer and classical musician. We worked together for almost three years, and I think it was the trust that led to such a long client-provider relationship.

3. People who are kind, generous, and want to do good by their clients and customers. That was worth repeating in its entirety. There is something to be said for clients who ooze goodness. Good begets good. I find that companies and individuals who find ways to give and sow good things are fun to be around, creative, and are more open to fun ways to market their brands. One such client who was like this is a woman named Win Wager. She is a metaphysician and hired me to create a website for her (years ago, now). She was very generous with both her time and expertise.

What’s your Red Velvet Rope policy?

Image credit: Shutterstock

[Also see: How Do You Handle a Business Relationship Gone Wrong, by Marlee Ward]

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

MARLdblE March 25, 2011 at 4:28 pm

Thanks for the link back Tia. You know a part of this is also about taking action. You can define your ideal customer until you’re blue in the face, but you really don’t get a good sense for who they are until you start working with them. Know who you want to work with, and then get out there and find them so you can be sure you’ve really got what you want.

EvelynParham March 25, 2011 at 1:39 pm

Hi Tia,

I have to admit, I didn’t know what the Red Velvet Rope meant. So glad you explained it. I purchased Michael’s book and need to start reading it.

Things work so much better when we know that the person wants to work with us. You provided some good tips. I’m not there yet as for getting clients. But your post has helped me to know what to look for and to be prepared.


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