You Need 30 Clients to Keep You Safe

Dear Barb:

I hear you always warn against having too few clients. We have four clients that provide more than enough orders for us to cover. We are currently only filling about 40% of the orders we are given. Do you still advise to continue marketing our services to other prospective clients?

Sharon M.

Springfield, IL

Dear Sharon:

I strongly advise that you build a client territory of 30 accounts for your business. You should have 10 key accounts and 20 backup clients. The key accounts provide you with multiple orders and you are the preferred supplier of top talent. The 20 backups know you, know the services you offer, but don’t necessarily call you first or give you multiple orders.

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This type of territory is recession proof. Over the past several months, I’ve interviewed many owners who went of business in the years of 2009 – 2011, in order to develop my new Business Breakthrough Tutor. One common denominator was that they had less than five clients providing them with 75% of their business. When those clients stopped hiring, they were essentially starting from scratch. One firm generated 80% of their business from one account that moved to Mexico.

When you represent the same clients for an extended period of time you may not be generating the highest margins or fees, and they may no longer be one of the most desirable companies in your niche. In this candidate driven market, you need to represent the companies that your candidates identify as most desirable.

It is imperative throughout the life of your business that you continue to upgrade clients. If a few clients stop hiring, you have a solid base of other clients who know you, know your services and will prevent you from being slammed by the next downturn. If your job order flow is really strong, consider hiring recruiters who only work the candidate side of the sale to help you fill those orders.

Barbara J. Bruno, CPC, CTS

Barb Bruno, CPC, CTS, is one of the most trusted experts, speakers, and trainers in the Staffing and Recruiting Professions. If you want to receive FREE training articles from Barb, sign up for her NO BS Newsletter! Barb has spent the last twenty years focused on helping Owners, Managers, and Recruiters increase their sales, profits, and income.

Her Top Producer Tutor web-based training program jumps-starts new hires and takes experienced recruiters to their next level of production. Barb's cutting-edge program, Happy Candidates, provides you with a Customized Career Portal in less than 10 minutes. Happy Candidates allows you to help the 95% of candidates you don?t place and eliminates the greatest time waster in your business.

If you'd like to contact Barb, call (219) 663-9609 or email


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