Without question if you want your business to grow you have to upgrade your business repeatedly as well as things that you do and the people you deal with. It's unfortunate but everyone is not going to grow with you and some people will even hold you WAY back from forging ahead. Finally, success is not defined by millions of dollars, it is defined by success and leadership. the man or the woman who does their own thing and does it well. Successful black entrepreneurs are looked highly upon and we are few and far between.There are hundreds of thousands of people who have fake business cards and fake businesses with email addresses that end in gmail.com or yahoo.com and they are telling people they are black entrepreneurs. They are not and they give us a bad name but for those of us that are successful
This week, a friend in Atlanta called me to tell me about a guy that he knew that is trying to promote his exercise business. I knew this kind of call so well and I don't like doing businesses with friends.It never works out well. My friend was trying to impress his friend by telling him that he knew someone in show business, marketing and promotion. My friend, who I talk to every few months went on and on about this guy and how he really believed in what he was doing and wanted me to talk to him. At times, I am far to concerned about the feelings of others and I felt obligated to finish the conversation as if I owed my friend that much but I didn't.I did not ask him to do what he did.
This is incredibly uncomfortable for me because I am too busy to follow though with fake clients. I asked my friend, “Does this guy have a budget” he said “I'm sure he does” which in no way means yes, so I suddenly got another call (not really) because I didn't want to waste another minute having this discussion. A few minutes later, my friend called again, I answered and he asked me to talk to the guy because he told him I would talk to him (why am I obligated to fulfill YOUR obligations?) I told him I had to take another call and that I would call him back. I'm not sure if you have had to deal with these kinds of people before but perhaps it's a good idea to reevaluate the friendship because you begin to realize you are being used. At any rate I cut the conversation short again and told him I would call him back hoping he would get the message that I did not want to be bothered with this but trying to be polite at the same time.
The next day my cell phone rings and I see that it's a number I don't know. I answer and it's the guy. My friend gave him my CELL number without my permission. I was angry but it was too late and I felt very uncomfortable about the whole thing. I was being preyed upon by a situation that I knew was a waste of my time. I told the guy I would call him back. He called me back an hour later. He was already coming of as inconsiderate which was a turn off. A person who has money to spend has no problem waiting for you to call them back. I am always suspicious of clients who are too eager.
A few days later, I called him back and indeed, it was a waste of my time but I knew the experience would be great for readers of Blog Wallet who have their own businesses to know the warning signs. Here are a few tips for you to look out for. At the start of the conversation, this guy went on and on about how his business worked and how successful he was. He told me his product was in several countries and that it was very successful. I knew this statement would come back to haunt him as we talked further. He was lying and I could tell…. (click “Next” for the next story)
1. Look for Keywords Like: “We're looking to Team up…”
…but that's not what I'm looking for. He told me, “We are looking to team up with a great company so that we both can make money.” I knew IMMEDIATELY this was bullshit. I have an established business that reaches the target, I've been doing it for almost 20 years. I get paid from clients who pay the full price. I'm not looking for a “team” or to join one especially with businesses that are not established. This is a game fake clients play to make it appear that they are here to help YOU when you don't need help… THEY do. He wanted me to push his brand for free and if anyone purchased it, he would give me a percentage, so he says. He was asking me for credit based on my friendship with the guy who introduced us. Now I was being used by two people.
Look for Keywords Like: “Build a Relationship”
Building a relationship takes the cooperation of two people or businesses doesn't it? What if I don't want to build a relationship with you? How can you assume that I would be enticed by this? This all SOUNDS good but how do I know that you will honor what you say? I don't and it's too risky.
Look for Keywords Like: “What can you do for us”
Really? You need me and you want me to explain what I can do for YOU ? My time is totally being wasted here and the fake client is grandstanding.
“So Tell me about your History”
If I have been in business for many years and it's YOU THAT NEEDS ME, you should do your research. To ask an established business person to state their history is an insult and the greatest sign that you are wasting your time. Many fake clients will play a game with you to see if they can screw with your self esteem. If they can break you down a bit they may be able to get something for free or at a very steep discount. Don't fall for it. Tell them they can research your company on the website or ask them, “Did you get a chance to research us?”
“I don't want for us to waste each other's time”
Too late, you are already wasting my time because you are playing games. Once again grandstanding.
“We have talked to many people who can't deliver”
Oh so now I'M the bad guy? You want me to prove my value to you before you spend any money? No, ironically this is another game to get something for free. It is possible that they worked with someone who ripped them off because they didn't know what they were doing now they want everyone else to prove themselves by going out of their way to get their business when it's actually THEM that needs the help.
“Are you familiar with what we do?”
Why is it my job to do that? Remember YOU NEED ME! You have to figure out if we can benefit each other. At this point, I don't care. I'm getting very bored with the conversation and I'm ready to deal with real clients.
“Send me Some Info and your Stats”
The conversation should have ended 30 minutes ago. My time is still being wasted here. You are trying to sound important and you can't afford to buy our services. It's beyond evident. Let's be done with this.
“I Saw Some Things that can build your business Right Away”
OK this was me having a bit of fun. I KNEW how he would respond to this statement. But after wasting my time, it was time that I wasted some of his.He asked me,”So what are the things you think I can work on?” I told him we don't discuss those things with people who are not clients, sorry. He then told me,well we are trying to work that out. I told him, “Well when we do and my company is paid we can talk about your needs further.” He was lost and could say nothing. He was trying to get free info across the board and it didn't work but there were times that it did. I had to learn about these kinds of clients the hard way. BUT I did learn. I'm sure I won't be hearing from him again.
Finally, you can ask them..
“We really like working best with honest clients. It works best for us and the client.” I'm telling you, a majority of the time, this is when they usually come clean and admit they can't afford it. So there goes 30 minutes of my life I can never get back wasting on you bullshitting. He admitted he could not afford my services. So every negative thing that he applied to everybody else now applied to him. I am sending a text to my friend to ask that he not give out my cell number without my permission from this point on.
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