Monday, September 21, 2009

Point Quibblers and Other Icky Clients

Last week at a meeting, I proudly shared my latest classroom triumph -- I had already "made" a student cry because she got a B+ on her first speech, and yet everyone knows she is an "A student." Such is the life of a mean and evil public speaking professor. My colleague said, "Oh, she must be one of those annoying 'point quibblers.'"

Now isn't that a fantastic term, a "point quibbler"?

Reminds me of certain clients I no longer deal with. For your handy reference, here's a list of clients you're probably better off matter what shape the economy is in. Life is simply too short.

Run, don't walk, away from....

- Clients who endlessly negotiate every single item, even after you've already reached an agreement.

- Clients who don't show up for the call or appointment, and always have excuses for why they didn't show up. (If you don't make excuses, why should you deal with clients who do?)

- Clients who don't do their homework, or answer preliminary questions that help you serve them better.

- Clients who seem to have already decided that your product or service won't work for them. (Really, why bother?)

College professors don't get to fire their students. Entrepreneurs and managers have more leeway in deciding with whom to do business.

Dan Kennedy put it like this: You may think you'll do business with anyone who has breath. But a lot of people have really bad breath.

Decide in advance who your ideal clients are. That's where your real success lies.