Time management tips-The efforts that we invest in explaining our service/product to a potential/existing client are never a waste time. Or are they? Do you know when to invest in explaining and when to simply remain silent, pass up a contract or drop a client?If you look and listen to a client with attention, sometimes you will be able to determine the situation early on.Some people just won’t hear you, no matter how clearly you communicate yourself to them. However, some bad clients are hard to spot before starting the collaboration. Partially because they skillfully put on an attractive social mask but also because they have not yet decided who they are and where they stand which means that they often change their mind and attitude.So, how to spot the ones that are a hassle to collaborate with on time? The best thing to do is always to ask:(1) The (potential) client directly
Ask the potential client as many questions as possible about his goals, motives and expectations from you.

(2) His employees (previous and current ones, if you have access to them)
It is best to ask them whether they would choose to work for him (again) if they were offered a choice.

(3) His previous vendors
Ask them to tell you why the collaboration ended.And then, if you decide to take the job, at least you will navigate through the minefields more successfully.

However, never waste your time explaining yourself, your company or your profession excessively (or at all) to the clients that came to you with preconceptions about who you are and what you do and are not really willing to hear you out. Or to hear anything except for what confirms their premade opinion for that matter.

Explain your point of view as briefly and clearly as possible and move on. To where your explanations will give you a bigger return on investment.

This especially applies to those entrepreneurs operating in the service industry. If you sell services, then your time is your most valuable resource. If you can choose, invest it in those clients that do hear you. If you are in no position to choose right now and/or are only starting a business, use your experience with the bad clients to appreciate the good ones when they do come along eventually and to be a good client yourself in the meantime.

Author: Stefania Skender, director

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Smart Growth for Business Consulting
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Partially adapted from: http://www.forbes.com/sites/davidburkus/2014/06/09/how-to-spot-a-bad-client-before-its-too-late/