In sales, leads are the order of the day. Converting them to a client is often a real challenge; one that takes time, effort and expense. This makes the idea of actually firing a client once you have one seem completely inconsistent. But all clients are not created equal. Sometimes, firing a client is not only the best option, it is absolutely necessary.
This article will examine the four types of clients that every salesperson has worked, or will work with, at some point in their career. In this article we will use examples related to real estate transactions, but the message is universal to all sales activities.
1. Abusive Clients
Salespeople come into contact with a wide variety of people every day. Some clients will be more difficult than others, but don’t mistake acclimating yourself to a client’s personality with putting up with abuse. If a client is verbally abusive or consistently rude, that is a sure sign that it’s time for you to politely tell them that the professional relationship should end.
2. Dishonest Clients
Clients who are dishonest can jeopardize your reputation and in a lot of fields they can also cost you your license.
In real estate, one of the most common ways that sellers are dishonest is when they lie or hide flaws with the home.
If you suspect a client is failing to disclose information it’s best to inform them of the possible consequences. If they continue to exaggerate or lie, it’s better to let them go than to threaten your reputation.
A note here for real estate agents; you are required by law to disclose all known facts. Once the situation moves from suspecting to knowing, protect your license and end the relationship. In some cases, if the issue is noticed by the buyer post-purchase, you and your brokerage could take the fall for it.
3. Time Wasting Clients
As a sales professional, your time is your money. Time wasters are clients who can’t make a decision. They beat around the bush for an exhausting amount of time with no clear closing in sight.
These clients have no sense of urgency. They will make you take them to more than 15 showings over the course of several months and never make a decision. If they’re selling a home, the client will have you overprice their listing and work twice as hard to sell a house that simply won’t sell at their asking price. They will bring five different relatives to the showings and each will have a different idea of what the buyers should look for in a house. They will have a relative send you Zillow or Trulia listings that are either not on the market, incorrectly valued, or under contract already.
In all these scenarios, your time, energy and resources are being depleted on a client whose business may never come to fruition. Weeding out time-wasters will dramatically improve your bottom line.
4. Unrealistic Clients
This type of client goes hand-in-hand with the time-wasting client. As an expert, your responsibility is to aid the client with your expertise and knowledge. Sadly, many clients do not listen to the advice offered.
A good example of this is an over-priced listing. If your client is expecting you to sell their home at a price that is completely unreasonable and won’t listen to your counsel, it may be time to tell them another agent may be a better fit.
Ending the Relationship
Making a decision to end a relationship with someone who potentially could be paying you a fee, can be a difficult one, but one that should be made sooner rather than later.
Let’s look at some scenarios:
• If you deem the client relationship to be taxing, ask yourself if the behavior can be corrected. Can you talk to the client transparently? Will they take your advice if you do talk to them?
• If you’ve tried this approach and there hasn’t been any improvement, it’s time to speak with your supervisor, manager or broker. They may step in, or they may suggest that the client works with another salesperson. They may also decide that the best option would be to release them completely.
• Once a decision has been made, invite the client to a face-to-face meeting and politely present your reasons. If you are able to refer the client to someone else who you feel would be a better fit, it would be a good idea to have them there at the meeting. Use facts from your ongoing working relationship to explain why you think the client may be more successful with another salesperson.
It may sound counter-intuitive to cut ties with a client that you have put a lot work into, but the reality is that all of the time you were wasting on this client can now be allocated towards clients who will actually be profitable in the end.
~Sourced in part from a blog at formsimplicity.com
Other articles that may interest you:
How To Build A Robust Referral Network | Mastroianni Consulting
5 Ways To Improve Your Client Communication | MASTROIANNI CONSULTING
10 Keys To Having A Great Reputation | MASTROIANNI CONSULTING