Don’t qualify them. Disqualify them. Another profound truth that we sometimes forget is that not everyone is qualified to do business with us. Some may even be qualified from a financial standpoint, but they may not necessarily be a good client in the the long run. Yes, it’s true that you won’t always land the perfect client, but part of making your initial contact numbers really count is eliminating bad prospects whenever possible, or at least reducing them to a lower priority so that you spend less of your time on your less qualified prospects.
Recognizing when a prospect is going to be troublesome, or a high-maintenance, low value client is vital to meeting your sales goals, and to the health of your business. This may seem counter-intuitive at first, because you’ll cut your sales numbers down by not doing business with troublesome, tiresome, or time-consuming clients. After all, you need the sale, right?
Wrong! A low value client can very easily end up taking up a lot of your time. For example, I once took on a client on a sliding scale with their promise that they’d send me several referrals. This client proved to need a lot more work than they initially let on, the project consumed a lot more time than originally anticipated, the client was not teachable at all, and in the end they just weren’t worth the trouble I’d gone to. Needless to say, those referrals never happened, either. So, I learned my lesson and decided not to deal with people unable or unwilling to pay my full price. Those who are willing to pay more for your services are much more likely to respect your time, effort, and expertise.