The guy at the bus stop wears shorts every day. No matter what!

I pass him in my car two or three days a week, when I drive my teenage son to school. 

It’s not a long drive. Maybe 15 minutes at most, through some of Vancouver’s gently sloping, cherry tree lined streets. (Beautiful in the spring!) 

Our journey intersects with a couple of busy bus routes. We leave around 8:00. By then, many of the bus stops we drive by have small groups of people lulling about as they make their way downtown. 

And almost every morning, we see the same guy at the same bus stop waiting for his bus.

And every time, he’s wearing shorts!

Is that guy in shorts your client?

The shorts are light tan, cargo style with lots of side pockets and reach to his knees. 

No matter what the weather is doing, he’s wearing those shorts!

Sunny? Shorts.

Raining? Shorts. 

Snowing (rare, but it can happen here)? Shorts.

Sometimes he pairs them with Birkenstocks and a T-shirt. 

Sometimes he chooses a puffy down jacket and sneakers. 

Doesn’t he get cold? I wonder. Does he own a pair of pants? Does he have some kind of fabric allergy?

How do the people in his office feel about his fashion choice?

Or does he work in a hot environment where shorts are necessary?

I’m not judging. (Hey, if shorts make you happy, I say go for it!)

But I can’t figure it out.

Is That Guy Your Client?

Sometimes our clients are like that guy in shorts.

They know what they like. And they’re going to stick to what they like—no matter what.

You can offer them something more convenient. Or more efficient. Or with improved features. Or better value.

But a certain percentage of your existing clients just won’t come around to your way of thinking. 

So what do you?

You’re left with two options: Either continue to serve them in the way they want to be served.

Or accept that they’re no longer a fit—and (gently) let them go.

If you follow the advice of Michael Michalowicz in his book The Pumpkin Plan, you’ll let them go.

Michalowicz argues that you need to shift your mindset from quantity to quality when it comes to clients. Stop trying to bend yourself (and your business) to be all things to all people. 

Instead, find your sweet spot. Then focus on clients you can serve from that sweet spot. 

As he puts it, “More isn’t better. Better is better.”

Ultimately, you have to decide what makes sense for you as the business owner

That might mean sticking with the shorts guy. 

Or it might mean trying something else on for size.

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, principal and founder of Copperplate Communications, helps small and medium size businesses get more leads and build stronger client relationships by creating quality content for websites, blogs, newsletters, catalogue content, landing pages and social media. You can find Holly on Twitter and LinkedIn.