Sadly, some customers can take up more of your time and energy than they return. But exactly how can you identify them and deal with them accordingly?
It is an issue Paul Glossop, buyer’s agent and founder of Pure Property Investment, is all too familiar with.
“I think the adage of the 80/20 is exactly that. For us, 20 per cent of people who are already educated, already confident to know that property is the game they want to go down, for us it’s far less work to say ‘here’s why’, it's more so ‘here’s what’,” Paul says on the My Business Podcast.
“If you’ve got that 20 per cent, the time that we have to spend in that nurturing phase is reduced, so for us we can get straight into the game of saying, ‘Let’s sort your property’.”
These are the easiest and most profitable clients, Paul says, and most of the remainder are eager to learn from you and can become great clients to work with.
Of course, though, there are instances when you need to think seriously about whether working with a particular client will be more detrimental to your business than beneficial.
“Especially with the fledgling business … you’ve got to ask yourself the question ‘How much do I want to persist with that person?’,” Paul says.
However, Paul believes that these clients can usually be managed effectively if you have the right processes in place. For him, that involves a referral network (such as accountants and mortgage brokers), whereby he can refer these prospective clients to get more specialised help elsewhere so that they are then in a better position to engage his services.
“It’s sort of categorising them into a process to make sure that you’re managing your time accordingly,” he says.
My Business editor and director of Momentum Media, Phillip Tarrant, agrees that this process is important to ensure your time is spent on your most profitable opportunities.
“Being busy with a tyre-kicker wasting your time is not helping anyone at all, so you need a real process for qualifying a lead, qualifying a prospect, and every issue is going to be different,” he says.
“You need to work out how you can determine very quickly, or what process you use to actually say, ‘Yes, this person is someone that I want to invest my time in’ ... and establish whether there will be a sale that will take place. You need to do that yourself.”
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.