Eagles, not turkeys. Follow that client strategy, and you'll fly high from this point onward.

Looking to take your design business to the next level? Reach that by remembering this: Work with good clients. Don't work with bad ones. Resolve to bond with the best, and avoid the rest.

Make it your mission to connect with prospects who value your services so much that they'll pay any price for them. While you're at it, lose the losers, and fire those who take advantage of you, waste your time and bellyache over every bill.

Promoting yourself to higher-caliber prospects makes way more sense than reaching out to tiny, troublesome ones. Scrambling to connect with and serve a bunch of smaller prospects who are more trouble than they're worth makes no sense.

Working with too many of the wrong customers is a formula for failure, if there ever was one. Unfortunately, it's a formula too many design professionals follow too often.Why?

Because they say "yes" when they should say "no." They accept small jobs with high-maintenance customers who are more interested in bargain basement prices than fine design.

If you’re stuck with too many of these bottom feeders, you're fishing in the wrong waters. Tell me about all your small projects for all of your small customers, and I'll tell you to aim higher. I'll tell you to make more profitable use of your time by focusing, instead, on your best clients.

Ask them about a "Phase II" for the current project. And about upgrades and updates to their vacation homes as well as their primary residences. And discuss your commercial as well as residential design services, or vice versa. At the least, ask them for referrals and for testimonials for your website, Houzz site and other marketing channels.

Often, it takes no more effort to catch the kahunas than to mix with the minnows. You'll bond with the best if you act the part (in your service), look the part (in your marketing) and charge the part of a high-caliber interior design professional.

If chasing after more customers is your idea of building your design business, then your way is a poor way. More customers won't help you substantially increase your profits. More clients will. There's a difference, you know:

  • A customer buys a chair from you. A client hires you for a project.
  • A customer cares only about the lowest price. A client cares about the best solutions to her design problems.
  • With a customer, you close a deal. With a client, you open a relationship.
  • You may only have a "fling" with a customer. You go steady with a client.

Put your best clients under a microscope and analyze their every need before searching for new prospects. The long-term value of a client is more than 100 times the value of a single transaction.

Expanding your relationship with your quality clients beats having a quantity of tiny — and perhaps troublesome — ones.

Think big. Think quality, not quantity. Think eagles, not turkeys.