Every girl has dated a ‘loser boyfriend' at some point in her life. He never returns calls, answers when you call, or calls when he is supposed to. He’s uncooperative and insensitive to your needs, but will turn around and make unreasonable demands at the most inconvenient times, when he really has no right to. Just when you decide to call it off, he makes minimal changes that give you hope – but they don’t persist for very long. Worst of all, he’s always broke. The relationship always ends badly, and when it does, you’re relieved.
Avoid the ‘Loser Boyfriend' Client
The sales process is analogous to the dating process. Every company has loser boyfriend clients who exhibit these same characteristics. Companies tend to pick up these loser boyfriend clients when a salesperson is under pressure to meet a quota, and doesn’t see the long term implications of having to work with a bad relationship.
Mi amor Antonio sells luxury men’s suits. Anyone can walk into the store and try on a suit, but not everyone can afford to buy it. Over a period of years, he has learned the skill of being able to judge whether to show a Zegna or a Jones New York sport coat to the customer. If you are broke or unwilling to spend, he can smell it on you. Or, he can tell when he is talking to a customer who is going to buy a pair of socks after taking an hour of his time. It may seem unfair, brash, and judgmental, but for every buyer there is a matching product. Mi amor Antonio always says, “There is a suit for everyone.” It does nobody any good for the buyer to be sold a product at a price point that is not suitable for him. A credit claim is an ugly process for all parties involved other than the debt collector who makes profit off everyone else!
You must distinguish between the client’s willingness and ability to pay, which many times are not the same thing. The salesperson has almost no control over a client’s ability to pay; the salesperson has all the control in the world over the client’s willingness to pay.
- The best judge of a client’s willingness to pay is their response to your quote.
- The best judge of a client’s ability to pay is what they have bought from you or from other vendors in the past.
‘Loser boyfriend' clients should be written off before you sign the ticket. Some people say that a good salesperson can influence a client’s ability to pay. Well, this is true if you believe that anything is possible. If you fight hard, you can raise someone’s desire to buy your product to a level so high that they will rearrange their budget. You may win the sale; but in reality, there are more lucrative clients out there and you won’t have to fight that battle in order to get paid. The time and mental effort make this kind of a client an expensive client to have. It's way better to use your time searching for and talking to the people who are willing and able to buy your product at the real price.
It’s hard enough to grow relationships with healthy, profitable companies. A player knows to walk away from a weak balance sheet. If you can’t find any other clients than loser boyfriend clients, make your business more attractive and search harder. As mom would say, there are plenty of fish in the sea!
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