Wednesday, October 30, 2013

PIA Prospects

Photo courtesy: Flickr Kyle Henson

I was planning to write about something completely different today, but I got wind of this post from the author of "Get Clients Now" and it resonated so heavily with me, I figured the other post can wait.

As entrepreneurs, we get excited when the phone rings or the email buzzes. It means that there is a potential for money in the bank. But, it's not just about making money or accepting anyone who wants to buy from you - remember, we're not Wal-Mart.

There are some people that you just don't want to deal with. They are a pain in the a** coming in the door, which means they're probably going to be a PIA throughout the relationship. You should avoid these people like the PLAGUE. It's important to know the warning signs so that you can run the other way.

C. J. does a great job of highlighting those signs for you. Here's the run-down:

  1. The prospect who comes in asking for a discount. They tell you that they'd REALLY love to work with you, but they can't afford your price. They may not be asking for a discount up-front, but ultimately, this is what they're asking. C. J. points out that these people don't value you as a professional (I'd add) or as an entrepreneur. 
  2. The prospect with the revolving door. They tell you how they've worked with several people in the past and none of them have been the right fit. Now, you can choose to put your cape on like Superman and think that you're going to come in and show everybody how it's done, but chances are they are hard/impossible to please and they're going to be telling the next hopeful the same line, but this time, your name has been added to the list. There's a reason plastic surgeons don't work with people who have had multiple same surgeries before or people who have sued 1 or more of their previous doctors. It's not good business.
  3. The prospect who wants a discount now and promises to send you TONS of business in the future. Yeah, right! How about you pay my regular rate now and then, in the future when you send me all this business, I can give you some kind of loyalty or referral discount. 
  4. The frantic prospect. You've been trying to contact them, they haven't been responding and all of a sudden they have some emergency and want you to drop everything and help them. Let's not go forming any bad habits. Everyone's time is valuable here!
  5. The prospect who doesn't have time to pay you up front, but wants you to start work anyway. Money talks. Serious people speak that language. When it gets to the money part of the deal and they've got problems and excuses, you're setting yourself up for failure.
Other people on the list include the people who want to have several meetings without closing the deal, people who only want to speak to references with projects EXACTLY LIKE THEIRS, people who want you to do things that aren't specifically part of what you do, people who want to increase the scope of work after you've already quoted pricing, and the non-committed prospect who wants you to block off your calendar for them.

OMG! I think I've dealt with 2 people recently that cover all 10 of the people on this list, that's why this was so urgent for me to cover right away. We want to see the best in people and we want to do business with people because we like them or we know them, but, as Jay-Z said, business is not about emotions.

If you've heard some (or all) of these stories from prospects, I'd love to hear about it in the comments and don't forget, if you want to read the full post by C. J., click here.