Don’t Hire a Bad Client Again and How to Sell Your Services the Right Way


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Don't hire a bad client again and learn some simple tips on how to sell your services the right way. As a small business we can't afford to take on bad clients. Learn the top 10 warning sings to look for when talking with a bad client.

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Don’t Hire a Bad Client Again and How to Sell Your Services the Right Way

  1. 1. Don’t Hire a Bad Client and How to Sell YourServices the Right WayRon: Good morning everyone! This is Ron Rodi Jr. of PME360. With me today is RyanPaul Adams.Ryan, good morning to you.Ryan: Good morning, Ron!Ron: Today is a topic that’s close to my heart.We will talk about sales. It is kind of a broad term but I think we’ll really get into alittle bit in what you and I both learned about the sales process. I’d like to talk a littlebit about my process and behavior everyday.And hopefully, we can share for some business owners out there exactly what theyshould look for when they bring on a sales person and really also, just to share sometips on how they can improve their actual sales process if they are the ones who areselling.Just go ahead and jump right into it, Ryan. Is there anything that you wanted to goahead and lead off?Ryan: I’ll just say that if you own a small business or own a practice of some kindthen we’re all in sales.If you are in business, you are in sales. I think that’s really important to understand,that you’re in sales on some level – whether you are a dentist, a home improvementcontractor or an attorney.Denying that fact is only going to lead to failure. So really, you got to learn how to bea better sales person. Learn how to be a better consultant, however you want to callit.I think sales is just all about consulting in a sense.The big thing for me early on when I was going out selling was I would really worryabout what I was going to say. And how do I sell myself. And what I am offering.All the services that I have. And I have all this great stuff in my mind. And going outto these meetings and just what I call “throwing up on people”. Powering Growth Online for Local Businesses
  2. 2. I can do this. I can do that. I take care of this and that. And the thing I learned is that,it’s not about me at all.It’s about the prospect. It’s about them –about them getting to talk and about askingthe right questions.Having a conversation took all the pressure off. By knowing the right question to ask,I can now go and attend a meeting feeling 100% confident that I can deliver the rightmessage. And then people can feel like I know what I’m talking about.Just by asking questions, I don’t really have to say a whole lot about myself. It takes abig pressure off.Ron: And as you know, we’re both big proponents of The Sandler Selling System. Andthere are so many concepts within this system.For those listening, there is a great book. It’s called The Sandler Rules: 49 TimelessSelling Principles and How to Apply Them.Really key takeaways. There are so different tips and different angles you can get.The one you alluded to “showing up and throwing up”. Sandler calls it “paintingseagulls in your prospect’s picture”.As you talk to your prospects, talk to your potential new clients, the last thing youwant to do is try to add something in by talking too much. Adding a feature or addinga benefit when that benefit or feature might not be something that they’re lookingfor.So as you mentioned, asking the right questions, finding out exactly what theprospect wants. And at the same time, knowing that the salesperson has rights.So there’s a huge misconception. There’s a huge preconceived notion of the used carsalesman-commission brat. You know they’re going to come in, salesperson’s goingto tell you whatever is it that you want to hear and get the sale closed.I think for us salespeople, that really kind of upsets us. Because at the same time, weare professionals, we have a way of life.This is the way, in which we do things. I think it is important to remember that youhave rights.And by talking to prospects a business owner, a potential client, to really to able toask effective questions. Really to consult them is the way you want to go after things. Powering Growth Online for Local Businesses
  3. 3. One of the things I did want to mention…taking some notes for today’s call as thereare so many things to talk about.But I think that sales is a lifetime mastery. I don’t think that it’s something you canjust be born into. It’s like going to the gym. You can’t really go to the gym for a weekand come out like you’re cut, like you’re in shape. You’ve got to eat right. You’ve gotto continually exercise. It’s a lifetime thing. Sales is the same way.Though I do think some are born with talents or certain things that maybe they dobetter at than others, I definitely think selling is a skill you can hone and work on.People talk about naturally born salespeople. Sure, there are some characteristics. Ithink that some people are born with it or be better at than others. But I also thinkit’s something you can improve upon.There are so many different strategies, tools and books. And just like an athlete or amusician or an artist or an actor. It’s something continually and constantly betteryourself and hone you skills.Ryan: Yes. I agree. And I think books are a great way, webinars, taking the Sandlertraining course is a great route to go as well.I think you can’t force somebody else’s sales system or the way they do things onyour self. You really have to identify what your personality is. And use some of thatinformation within your process and what you’re comfortable with.I think trying to be somebody you’re not is a big mistake. So you really have to findout what works for you and try it out. If it didn’t work, if it sounded phony, then it’sgoing to show through.Ron: That’s very true. Because throughout my Sandler Training, one of the thingsthat popped up in my head was these aren’t tricks. They are not moves. And whenyou try to copy and mechanically go through a script, a “move” or a trick, you’redead on – it comes across as completely phony-baloney.So you’re right. You’ve got to find what works for you. I totally agree with that. Oneof my biggest takeaways is that there is a need to establish a repeatable behavior forevery single sale call, for every single sales disqualification or pre-qualification orfrankly, after meeting post sale – after you closed the deal. Having and following thatsame wording, that same script.Again, the script has to come out genuine. But really sticking to that, the prospect’sgoing to get used to that style. You really want to try to keep it as professional aspossible. Powering Growth Online for Local Businesses
  4. 4. Sure you are going to develop relationships, personal friendly relationships with a lotof people. But at the same time, as Sandler says, the meter is always running. This isa business transaction. At the end of the day, it’s going to come down to that. So forexample, just to show what I mean.One of the biggest things that I found is when I don’t run through what Sandler callsan upfront contract, if I don’t remember to do that or if I don’t remember to talk, Ihave an abbreviation for that.It’s appreciation, time, purpose, agenda, outcome.If I don’t start a meeting like that, you just get right into it, to me it just throws meoff. I’m constantly thinking in my head, how do I bring the conversation back. Howdo I start over? How do I tell the prospect, look this is what I’m here to talk about?I appreciate that fact that you are here. I want to be conscious of your time. Thepurpose of the meeting is this. The agenda that I have put together is this. Theoutcome is this.And just doing that and being able to do that, it sets me at ease. Because again, youwant to be in control of the meeting. But having that structure is very important.Ryan: All that process. You can’t just go in and ringing this thing. Powering Growth Online for Local Businesses
  5. 5. You really have to identify those power questions that you’re going to ask.Disqualifying questions you’re going to ask. And have a repeatable process. So thatyou are not the only person in your business who can sell.You’ve got to be thinking about the next person you’re going to hire – that can sellfor you. Because you’re not going to be able to grow if you’re a one-man band andyou’re doing everything.Early on, probably you’re priority would be the salesperson. Nobody’s going to sellbetter than the business owner. You will have the most passion and the most to lose.So early on, you’ve got to be that guy or girl. But you’ve got to be creating a processthat you go. Figure out what works and what doesn’t.Have that idea in mind that you’re going to be hiring the next person.And then for one, as I got clients. As I got confidence in what I was doing, it all aftera while, it’s about they have to prove to me that they can work with me at this point.I have that attitude.It’s not I’m that trying to be cocky but at the same time, I can’t afford to take on abad client. I have been down that road. It affects the entire team, the entireorganization.I have to disqualify them and make them prove to me that they are a good fit for mybusiness. And if they can’t do that, I either need to set up another meeting or justpart ways and say this isn’t going to work. Thank you for your time and move on.Find the next person.You really have to identify those disqualifying questions. More than the other ones.Ron: Let’s talk about a couple of those: disqualification is something I know weregoing to talk about today. And I think, what you call them “grinders”?Ryan: Yeah. You are going to find out if they will turn out to be a grinder. If they willgrind you to the ground.Basically, we all know that person, who wants everything. They are by nature peoplewho beat other people into the ground. That’s who they are. I have come up withsome warning signs over the years of clients that I know (hearing from you or othersalespeople in our team) this account’s not going to work because of the things I’mabout to list. Powering Growth Online for Local Businesses
  6. 6. So these are the warning signs or the red flags you have got to pay attention to: 1. Clients who knick-pick your contracts.This is a huge one. The great clients you will end up having and working with don’tcare necessarily about the every single detail in your contract. You positionedyourself in your client’s mind in such a way they can’t live without you. They want towork with you. Whatever you put in front of them, they will probably sign.And it’s not to say that we’re trying to trick you because we don’t. Our contracts areon the up and up. But it’s the people that go through your contracts line by line,scratching things out – “Nope! Not doing that. Not doing this. Take this out. They’remarking everything out.”Run away, don’t ever look back. 2. Clients who have called more than 3 other businesses and are getting quotes from tons of other companies.Big red flag. Why do they need to get quotes from 5 to 10 other firms or roofingcompanies whatever your business is? It’s crazy!They were probably burned in the past. You clearly have no position at this point.You have no authority in their mind because they’re calling other people. You’re justanother quote.Ron: Just let me interject here. This is an important one, I think. There’s alwaysreasoning behind a question.There’s always a reason behind “Can you do this for me?”For example, I’m the 5th guy in this meeting and you’ve had four other meetings. Andyou are asking me for the same thing. Look, give me a reason, why have not gonewith the guy before me. What is it that they proposed that you completely disagreewith?In other ways, why are you wasting everybody’s time? What are your criteria formaking a decision? That’s really a question I think when people say, “Hey, you know Ineed a proposal. You are one of 3.”And I think what salespeople have a tendency to do is run and scramble to put it alltogether. This is what we can do for you. This is flashy. And this is this:Look, let’s sit down and let’s talk a little bit more. You are on step 5 buddy. I’m onstep 1. Powering Growth Online for Local Businesses
  7. 7. Let’s talk a little about what is it that you need. I think when people are just askingme to bid. And to me it’s a red flag. I will agree with you there.Ryan: And in those situations you are just going to waste your time. You are justgoing to be forced into a bidding situation. You are going to have to provide aproposal. You put a lot of time into this and the odds are you are not going to get it.You really have to find out why they are getting so many quotes. And they have avalid reason.But you can just politely say, “I’d like to sit down with you. We’ll talk a little bit morebut I’m not going to submit a proposal to you. It’s way too early. I have to figure outwhat you need.”Ron: And this is our process, before we can submit a proposal to you, we have tohave a 30-minute strategy session. We have to talk about your needs analysis. Wehave to talk about what you want to accomplish.Some industries are a less complicated than others. But I think if you have thatprocess you are going to stop wasting a lot of time.Ryan: And time. We all understand how valuable it is. There just isn’t enough of it.And you cannot afford to waste it. 3. Promise of future work or promise of bigger things.If you do this job for them, for a discounted price or you are doing it the way theyare asking you to do it, then they know all these people in town and they will get youall these jobs. Just stop. Stop what you are doing.Not that they are lying to you but if I had a dime for every time I heard this and gotnothing from it, I would not be doing what I’m doing right now. I would be a multi-millionaire and have retired.So this promise of future work or big things – big red flag for me. Why are theypromising all these? You should be able to come in and consult or talk to them. Ifyou are the right fit, then great.They don’t have to promise anything other than paying you good money for whatyou are going to do for them. They don’t need to do anything beyond that.Stick within your process. Don’t worry about promises of future work. Powering Growth Online for Local Businesses
  8. 8. 4. They’re in a big rush and they need it tomorrow.This kind of goes with what I have for number 9 on this list.You can just tell those people who are fidgety. Everything needs to be done rightaway. They are all stressed out.When you are dealing with these people, it is probably not a good situation for you. Iwould not be afraid to use, “I’m not the right fit, but I know somebody who mightbe.”Don’t be afraid to give away work. Say no. Just doing that is one of the mostpowerful psychological things you can do to a prospect.You are telling the prospect that you are not afraid to lose a business. You are notdesperate. You are not showing any desperation.And maybe after hearing that you’re not the right fit but still they stay within theprocess of what you are offering and you can lay out the law right then and there.And say, “I’m only going to take on this job, boom boom boom. That’s it, I’m not aright fit. I have this guy over here who can do this, go with him.”Ron: So to that point, I have heard about successes created just because people havesaid that, “Look XYZ, if you want me to respond, if you want me to submit a quote, ifyou want me to do a proposal then this is the process by which we do it. If that doesnot work for you, then potentially we are not the right fit.”I’ve heard of successes where the client will say, “Wow that’s great! We have theyou know what to say that to me, let’s talk. You know we’re not the right fit, I doknow someone who potentially is.”I’ve seen referrals come to the salesperson who have said that. Look, I appreciatethat you recognize that we’re not the right fit. You saved me aggravation.People sometimes have to go out and get these bids. But because you said that,people will know your process. And they would think of someone who could be agreat fit for you.Now, there’s another lead. There’s another potential referral. So good point. I justwant to share that because I’ve seen that before. Powering Growth Online for Local Businesses
  9. 9. Ryan: 5. Client who is questioning your rates.This is a big red flag. Your rates are your rates. Don’t feel bad about whatever youestablish as what you need to charge to make a living. That is what it is. You will havepeople who will question your rates all the time.I know in the back of your mind that there are more companies charging more andcharging less. There is always that situation no matter what business you are in.When they question your rates, use that as a big warning sign that they might not bethe right fit. If they are going to beat you down about what you are charging, then I’dprobably not take that job.Ron: Because they will beat you down about everything now.Ryan: It is the beginning of the end. It really is. 6. The disappearing client.The guy that you go out, meet with him, have a great conversation, set the outcomeat the end, set a follow up, etc.Then by the time you do the follow up, you don’t hear from them. When you askthem for a proposal, you don’t hear from them. You call him, you email, you callagain trying to get an answer and they just don’t respect your time.When you do hear from them, it’s a month later likely to say no. They alreadywasted your time. No matter how you look at it.It’s not about ego. If they have a valid reason, a health issue perhaps then fine. But 9times out 10, they just didn’t respect your time. And again, they are not going torespect your time moving forward –even after you sign the deal. So just politely sayno and move on.Ron: Maybe some tips on how you can prevent getting to that particular stage.Again, it goes back to if you ask the proper questions throughout. There’s always areasoning behind a question. Every time a prospect asks a question, there’s alwayssomething else behind it.A lot of people thing that you don’t want to answer the prospect’s question with aquestion but to me, it’s one thing that you absolutely have to do. Powering Growth Online for Local Businesses
  10. 10. Further qualify the reasoning behind the prospect’s question. “You know what,that’s an excellent question. I really do appreciate you asking me that. Can you sheda little more light on why you are asking for a proposal at the eleventh hour? What’sgoing on with your business that’s causing you to do this? What’s happening in yourdepartment that’s requiring you to fill in the blank”.So if you can a pick a part and peel that onion back throughout the process, you canprevent a lot of reactionary type of transactions, if you will. Again, there’s always areasoning behind it. I’d just interject some tips here as you go.Ryan: And one of the biggest deals that I landed early on relates to the wholeoutcome idea of a salesman.At the end of this meeting with the CEO and about four other people. That time Iwas lie 26 years old. I was pretty young and people in the room were significantlyolder and more experienced. And it was intimidating.At the end of a good conversation, I asked them a lot of questions. And as it was acomplicated project, there was really no way to get into the next step without aproposal. Because they had 2 or 3 other companies bidding on this.If I wanted to take the next step, I had to put something down like a range of whatthis would cost or a detailed proposal.That’s why I looked at the CEO and said, “Basically getting to the outcome, there aretwo things that will happen.I am going to do this proposal. It’s going to be a yes. Or it’s going to be a no.But what I will not accept when I take this next step is a maybe.I can handle a no. But I’d rather that it’s a yes. But I can handle a no. What I can’thandle is a maybe or not hearing from you again. Are we on agreement that if I takethis next step, that I’m going to do the proposal. Even if it is going to take some time,I’m happy to do it…Are we on agreement that if I do this, you will give me an answer?And what’s a reasonable period of time? Five business days? Within three businessdays to look at it?”So I wrote it down, along with a couple of notes of what they disagreed to. And I wasgoing to hand it over to her and for her to sign it. Powering Growth Online for Local Businesses
  11. 11. And I just thought it was good enough for that situation. They’ve seen me write thisdown. They’ve agreed to a verbal contract. You could tell by the look on her face thatshe was impressed or taken aback that I had the guts to do that.Because not even one salesperson who walked into that room said that. And Iguarantee you the same result if you take the same approach.Ron: I thing that’s a great story. A lot of it is relates to the tonality – the way youdelivered it. It is very important.It also goes back to upfront contracts. I want to share my script for an initial sitdown:“You know Ryan, I appreciate you inviting in. I really want to be conscious of yourtime. I have us down for an hour. Though, what we’re going to talk about will take 20minutes. Sometimes this meeting goes on for an hour.The purpose of this meeting is to walk through the requirements of your project. (Orthe purpose of today’s meeting is to fill-in-the-blanks)The agenda today is so on and so forth.”You don’t have to list all these parts. But you have to make sure that you runthrough all these parts. Of course, you don’t have to say “the agenda is”You’re not mechanical and you can’t be. But the way in which you go through theagenda today is the most important.To continue my script, “There are two possible outcomes typical to these meetings.The first outcome is we can get to the end of my presentation, the end of themeeting, the end of this proposal and you can look at me and say, ‘Ron, I appreciateyou coming in, putting this proposal together. Thank you for this. But looking at this,we are just not right the fit. I want to make sure you are okay.”Essentially in this situation, he is telling me “No.”I go through this in an upfront contract.First of all, think about it in reverse, in your prospect’s outlook. You are giving himthe permission to say no. You are letting him believe that it’s okay to say no.That your feelings won’t be hurt. Now this is a total 180° from selling, from typicalsales people or that the perception they have of salespeople.Then the other outcome could be, “Ron this looks great. Let’s get started.” Powering Growth Online for Local Businesses
  12. 12. Another could be, “Hey, we are going to sit down again and agree to something.”Like what you said, what’s not going to happen is what I also hate, as the meeting iscoming to an end, is for prospects to make up 10 other things that need to be doneprior to an agreement or giving a maybe for an answer.Don’t you think it’s fair to set up a time? Maybe it’s not a no or a yes right away. Butlike what you said, 72 hours is fair enough.Look I don’t want to chase you. You don’t want to chase me. If we’re not the right fit,just go ahead and tell me.If we are then let’s get started. But don’t string it along. It’s not fair at all. And againgoing back to what I’ve said earlier that as a salesperson, you have rights.The right is not for you to be kicked around but for you not to be strung out inpurgatory for 45 days wondering what’s going to close.Come on just tell me. I’m a big boy. I’m a big girl. I can surely handle it.What I want listeners to remember this from this call:Appreciation. Time. Purpose. Agenda. Outcome.And establishing that upfront contract and outcome is a huge step. That’s my littlenugget for today.Ryan: Yes, I totally agree. I think what we’re talking about applies to all business. Nomatter what business your in. What Ron just mentioned can be integrated in somefashion into what you are doing and into your process.Don’t just disregard part of it. All of it can be integrated whether you are sellingsomething or you are giving estimates right there on the spot.The latter is no longer in the sales cycle, it’s immediate. This can be applied becauseyou are asking for that upfront contract. You want an answer. You have the right tohave an answer. You took the time to go out and meet these people.If they cannot do that for you and they say right then and there, then why would youwaste another second? Move on. It’s a big warnings sign. Powering Growth Online for Local Businesses
  13. 13. 7. Client requesting for an estimate or a proposal.Somebody says, “Well just send me a proposal or just send me an estimate. Wedon’t need to talk about this. I just want a website. I just want a roof. It doesn’tmatter just send me a proposal. You know what you’re doing.”I’d see that as a big warning sign. It’s not one of the top ones because at this point,you can probably get them into your process and say, this is how I do things if youlike to talk about it. We can. If they don’t then you are not going to waste anothersecond. 8. Disorganized or erratic behavior.We talked about this earlier. 9. Kind of goes back to the promise of future work or people that promise you the world.They put on a big show about who they are. “I’m this person, etc.” And they don’twant to put it in writing.“Well that’s great Mr. Client. If you want to put that in writing, we’ll set specificguidelines for how many jobs you are going to refer me.”At this point though, it’s just talk.And I made a huge mistake early on when I started out in my home building anddevelopment business of trusting somebody who promised me the world. And I wasyoung. I was hungry. I wanted success.Everything he said, he was good. He knew exactly what he was doing. And justeverything he said was the right thing. “I’ll do this. I’ll do that. I’m running forGovernor. I’m the man. Look at all these things I’ve done.”He had a huge big talk. He’d get this huge talk around you. This cloud of wow thisguy is incredible and all those things he was promising me.But when you ask him, “Can you put that in writing for me?”He will say, “Oh no. My words are as good as anything. Don’t worry about anything.We’ll work it out.”It was a huge mistake for me – one that cost me a lot of money. I felt bad that Ididn’t push it and get it into writing. Powering Growth Online for Local Businesses
  14. 14. I thought, this guy is who he is. I can’t really force it. Probably, he is not going to doit. And I don’t want to jeopardize it. I really want this deal. I really want this thing towork out.The people who do this stuff and promise all this stuff, but can’t put it into writing.Run away. Run as fast as you can.It won’t work out unless you get it in writing. Anybody who’s worth anything gets itdown on paper – whether it’s a napkin or a piece of paper. Handwrite it, get it, won’tmiss out on what you’re saying, write it and date it. Take a picture of it on youriPhone, whatever you want to do. Just get it in writing and save yourself from a tonof aggravation.At the end of it, you have to trust your gut. And if you do a few of these salesmeetings, you’ll feel that something is ringing the alarm. Tune in to that alarm thatstarts ringing. Trust that alarm, gut or whatever you want to call it.There is a reason why it’s telling you something is not right. You want to listen to it.Make sure that these warning signs and red flags aren’t ticked off.Ron: I think those were great tips. Every one of those tips you can apply. So just toclose it out, I’d like to re-emphasize what was said in the beginning.Sales is a lifetime of mastery. Again, you have to continually improve upon it.Another key takeaway from Sandler is what he calls the “role you” versus the “realyou”.If you are a sales professional, a business owner and you are going out trying to selland close sales then you fail as a salesperson, no way does it mean that you fail inlife.If you are hitting 300 on the major leagues and you are closing 3 out of 10, then youare pretty darn good. If you are 4 out 10, then you are a hall of famer.Same thing here. It’s work. It’s “role you” versus the “real you”. “Role you” is youbeing a professional, pertaining to your career – that’s what you do.You do business development. You do sales. You are the business owner who hasdone courses and has trained for this stuff. If you fail at it from time to time, it’s nota reflection on who you are. People make mistakes and the biggest thing there is tolearn from that.Have a manager or someone to talk to. Do debriefing. Talk about what worked andwhat didn’t work. Maybe write it in a journal. Find your own way. Find your own Powering Growth Online for Local Businesses
  15. 15. process. Find out what could work better. Find out what you should have said ordone for things to be better.Nothing’s ever going to be perfect. You will never have that perfect sales call. But ifyou take little pieces away from it and maybe improve upon it as you go then youwill improve.Ryan: Every success story of a business owner or an entrepreneur details themfailing miserably at some point in their lives – really miserably.It is what you learn at failing than what you learn from succeeding that matters.If you started out and everybody said yes then you are not paying attention to that.You could be under charging.If everybody is saying yes and it’s that easy, then you’d believe it’s easy. You mightbe charging $50 for a project that cost a good $1000. Of course, they will say yes.You are not paying attention. If there are too many people saying yes, there’ssomething wrong. I really believe that.A great entrepreneur must decide to come out of pain, to come out of some type ofsuffering, mistakes or failure and learn fast. The people who learn fast are those whohave these great success stories.So don’t be afraid to fail. Make mistakes. You are not going to succeed right off thebat all the time. Embrace it. Learn from it. Fight through it. It makes you a betterperson.And I think you will see better things come from leaning from a failure than fromalways succeeding at everything you do right on.Ron: Absolutely. I enjoyed the conversation. I know in PME360, it I sour job to drivepotential prospects to our particular clients.So go ahead and check out our website Powering local small tomedium business online.If you are looking to grow your business, we can talk to you about sales. At the sametime, if you are looking to grow those leads, find those new prospects, then checkout what we have to offer in our site.Set up a free strategy session, That’s our process. And we’d love to talk aboutbusiness and how to grow it. We’d love to help you out. Powering Growth Online for Local Businesses
  16. 16. Ryan: Hopefully that provides some value to people listening. We’ll keep doingthem.Ron: Appreciate your time Ryan.Ryan: Thanks, bye.Ron: Bye. Powering Growth Online for Local Businesses