Your time is precious so it’s essential that you spend it productively by prospecting to the right people. Some prospects are not worth spending time on – maybe expressing an interest when they’re not really committed to investing – and despite all your best efforts you won’t be able to do anything to change their minds. The problem is these prospects can be difficult to identify.
Here are a few telltale signs that someone is not about to do business with you.
1. When a prospect doesn’t know what they want
To provide a five-star service to your clients you need to be totally onboard with their goals. However, there are some people whose goals simply cannot be pinned down. They may even know they don’t know what they want but they’re still happy to sit down with you and discuss a course of action they’re not ready to take yet.
It could also be that they are paralyzed by fear and crippled by indecision so much so they can’t commit to anything.
Do your best to allay their fears by using your powers of persuasion and personality. Try to shake them out of their torpor by explaining to them that it’s never the right time to invest. That’s why the perfect time to invest is always now. Delaying the process could lead to a financial catastrophe. Try to help them visualize what life would be like if they didn’t have enough money to live on. If they still fail to see the light, your work here is done.
2. When a prospect asks for reduced fees
Always remember you are worth your fees. You provide a valuable service and should be respected for it. Prospects who attempt to ‘bargain’ you down are not worth spending time with. Asking you to lower your fee may be a sign they aren’t serious. Your services are of a value for a good reason and questioning your fees is not the way to start a good relationship.
3. When a prospect is there to ‘chew the fat’
You may occasionally come across potential clients who are not there to start a relationship with you – instead they’re after insider information. Remember you’re not an unpaid consultant so keep in-depth questions about the industry and markets to a minimum. These people may have their own hidden agenda for why they’re using up your valuable time – perhaps in the background they feel they would rather take care of things themselves.
4. When a prospect doesn’t respond quickly
If someone takes a long time to respond to your calls be wary, because it’s likely they’re not all that interested. Don’t dismiss them out of hand but weigh up whether they’re not responding because they’re genuinely too busy or they simply aren’t serious about doing business with you. Never chase after prospects to get their business, save your valuable time prospecting to other, better, potential clients.
If you genuinely feel there’s something tangible holding a prospect back from acting, keep in touch with them. Perhaps they’re undergoing a significant life event that’s hampering their ability to proceed. If so, organize a time to catch up – then make sure you action this.
5. When something just feels ‘off’
If someone seems like they’re not committed, the chances are you’re right. At the end of the meeting call them on it. Ask for commitment and if none’s forthcoming call it a day.
Adding unnecessary stress to your day can be avoided so long as you stay alert to people who are only there to waste your time. Don’t hold onto bad prospects out of fear you’re missing an opportunity. It’s not your fault. Certain people are simply not a good fit for you so stop taking responsibility for them.
Having an ideal client profile is a good way to avoid time-wasters. This will help you narrow down people who are going to be a good fit for you and therefore more likely to be interested in working with you.
When you come across a prospect who’s clearly not serious, find the most diplomatic way to remove them from your focus as quickly as possible. Move on and get yourself in front of prospects who value your time and what you have to offer.