The Underestimated Value of Ideal Clients

One ordinary Saturday morning, commercial artist Rick Norsigian drove by a yard sale. He found two boxes of glass-plate photography negatives which he purchased for $45 because he liked the images of Yosemite, where he once worked. After a bit of research, Norsigian discovered that the negatives might be the work of famed landscape photographer Ansel Adams. Over the next 25 years he is expected to earn $200 million from these prints.

Sometimes we vastly underestimate the value of things. You likely have a similar treasure hidden in plain sight inside your business. These are your Ideal Clients—the types of clients that need everything you sell and trust you.

Most business owners vastly underestimate the value of their Ideal Clients. Let’s consider 5 ways they may be more valuable than you think.

1. 10-30X Revenue Potential
After working through Ideal Client Profiles with hundreds of business owners and their leadership teams across multiple industries, I’ve discovered that Ideal Clients are typically worth 10X to 30X the revenue potential of average clients. It’s no wonder that the 80/20 rule coined by the Italian economist, Vilfredo Pareto, is alive and doing well. If 20% of clients drive 80% of the revenue (or potential revenue) it makes sense to focus on these clients.

2. Increased Retention
Ideal Clients typically stay with a business longer for two reasons. First, they appreciate what you do. Just like a good hire for your company will fit with your culture, a good client will fit with your team as well. That means they appreciate you and will stick around.

The second reason retention is higher is that Ideal Clients have typically purchased multiple products and services from you. If you structure this correctly, untangling the relationship is just hard enough that an Ideal Client won’t think its worth the hassle to change.

3. Streamlined Operating Costs
In addition to the higher value of Ideal Clients, they typically have streamlined operating efficiencies. Your finance team sends fewer invoices. With alignment and fit, there may be fewer costly support issues. You may also be able to design systems and processes that cater to the needs of your Ideal Client while reducing your operating expenses.

4. Lower Pain and Suffering
Non-ideal clients tend to cause the most headaches. This misalignment takes a toll on your staff. While hard to measure, you can feel the frustration as team members try to satisfy people who will never be happy. Many of the most challenging customers are ones who only purchase a fraction of what your Ideal Clients buy. The frustration of trying to satisfy these people turns business into a grind for you and your team. 

5. Reduced Marketing Costs
The best type of lead is a referral—especially a referral to another Ideal Client. When you are delivering value inside a relationship where an Ideal Client trusts your company, getting referrals is easy. Let’s say an Ideal Client refers just one new Ideal Client every year. Over a decade that Ideal Client will 10X their value by bringing on more new Ideal Clients.

What’s the Value of Your Ideal Client?
Here’s the sad part about the story at the beginning of this article. The guy who put the box of negatives on the table at his garage sale didn’t understand the value of what he was selling. Likewise, its important that the value of an Ideal Client doesn’t get underestimated by ourselves or our team.

If you would like to get a clear picture of who your Ideal Clients are and what they are worth, join me for the One Ideal Client Away Challenge. Visit for details.

Creators and Guests

Darrell Amy
Darrell Amy
Darrell Amy helps purpose-driven companies grow revenue faster. He's the author of Revenue Growth Engine® and the host of the Revenue Growth Podcast.
The Underestimated Value of Ideal Clients
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