When to Walk Away from a Prospect

by Stacy Zemon

It’s an asset to have confidence in your talent and the value that you bring to a client’s event.  It’s also an asset to realize that there are some people that can’t be pleased — no matter what. A wise sales person knows when to move on and to not take the word “no” personally. After all, none of us can be all things to all people.

Is your time being wasted?

If a prospect wants a quote but won’t give you the information needed to provide one, beware. You are on the phone with either a price shopper or someone who doesn’t care enough about his/her upcoming event to to devote the time and energy necessary to researching and booking a professional DJ.

How about the “big fish” that’s appealing because of a potentially high profit and a prestigious name to add to your client list. There’s just one problem. Once you reel him/her in, the client is ultra-demanding and wants more…and more…and more. This fish is really a piranha who wants to eat into your profits. Maybe this blood-sucker loves your proposal and wants to hire you but without an up-front financial commitment. In the words of Nancy Reagan, “Just say no” no matter how alluring this type prospect may be. Giving in to unreasonable demands is simply a bad business practice.

Do you know when to walk away?

Anyone has the right to ask you to cut your price in half, add two hours to an event at no additional cost, or “throw” in the  lighting for free. You also have the right to turn down these requests. Even in a rough economy, you have to maintain your standards to maintain your self-respect as a business person.  For example:

“Karen, thanks for meeting with me today. I understand that your total budget for entertainment is $400 and there isn’t another area that you can shift money from to make this any larger. So, based on your budget and requirements I don’t think our services would best meet your needs. I’d like to recommend another vendor who I think would better fit what you’re looking for.”

Do you have the courage to say “goodbye?”

Let’s face it.  None of us wants to walk away from “money on the table;” however, sometimes we have to because a situation simply isn’t worth any more of our time or effort.  Whether it’s a prospect or a client that you’re dealing with, and no matter how unreasonable, difficult or demanding the person has been, maintain your professionalism.  Handle the situation in a tactful manner because even if you haven’t done anything wrong, if you don’t handle it correctly, it can come back to you in the…….

Have you had the courage to say “no” to a prospect or client?

Publisher & Chief Scribe

Stacy Zemon is a self-described serial entrepreneur (Equal parts creativity and business).  She is a distinguished industry leader who is widely considered an authority on the DJ business.  Stacy is a veteran disc jockey, writer for DJ Times magazine and author of the world’s best-selling DJ books. For the complete story about Stacy’s career, click here. To check out Stacy’s copywriting, business consulting and other services, click here.

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