If you run a marketing agency, you’ve either got a sales team working for you or you’re making sales yourself. As you build out your client roster, especially early on, it can be tempting to accept everyone.  You think to yourself, “I don’t need to screen clients. I need every client I can get.

When you’re selling anything to anyone, it’s easy to get caught in the “ABC” mindset.

Always be closing.

Building a book of business is a high-pressure exercise. If you don’t make enough sales, bad things start happening.

It can make any reasonable person forget that good salespeople have another important bedrock principle.

Prequalify the prospect. Sell to the right buyers.

There are some clients you don’t want to take on, no matter what. They’re energy vampires, draining the life and soul out of your agency.

So ask yourself these questions before signing a client.

How do you feel about the client, personally?

“Do I like them? Would I have a beer with them?”

Corri Smith, Owner of Black Wednesday, doesn’t just use the beer test, of course. She evaluates the potential client’s product or service and asks herself if she thinks what they do matters. And she wants to know her clients are sustainable.

That is, one who will pay us, and be successful themselves.

But the beer test is a pretty good one. Almost everyone who shared their thoughts with me brought up some version of it.

A prospect doesn’t have to be overtly rude for you to say, “Thanks, but no thanks.” Some people rub each other the wrong way. If you cringe every time you see a client’s name in your inbox, you’ve got the wrong client.