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When to Tell a Prospect You Had Enough.

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Top Contributor
# 1
Top Contributor

Happy Friday Y'all.   I've had a recent rash of ridiculous potential clients.  I thought I'd share the stories as a fun Friday post.  Rejecting potential clients is always difficult, but many times necessary.  

 

Transmission Doctor.  I traveled 4 hours to visit John in person since that's what he wanted. The first warning sign was he wanted all communication via fax.  So we got a fax machine.  Then his fax machine broke... 3 weeks of non-payment later, I wrote the account off.  

 

Home Buyers.  We pitched them a 23K proposal.  We visited them several times, each time clarifying the project scope.  They verbally agreed 3 times to hire us.  And told us to begin work and not to worry about the money.  A month later we haven't heard anything from them.  Luckily we pulled the project before hiring the developers they wanted.  

 

Finance.  Dinner after dinner.  Meeting after meeting.  At some point you realize this person doesn't have the money to pay you.  We had 4 in person meetings including driving 3 hours for a visit.  And dozens of lunches / dinners with both teams.  Later we learned, they wanted us to build the software for 20% equity in the venture...  No thanks.  


Uber App Clone.  We flew to Chicago to meet with a large university.  Only to find out that the person we talked with did not represent the university.... rather he wanted us to work on his completely unrelated project.  Needless to say there was no funding.  And we had to work for equity. 

 

3 Warning Signs You Should Leave 

 

1. Prospect has no means of paying you. 

2. Prospect tells you to start project and not worry about the money. 

3.  You've treated the Prospect's team to multiple meals and they never pay.

 

Agency life is sometimes ridiculous.  Smiley Happy 

 

 

 

 

2 Expert replyverified_user

Re: When to Tell a Prospect You Had Enough.

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor
True that!! That sounds like a rough go! Something's bound to turn around soon.

Re: When to Tell a Prospect You Had Enough.

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Interesting thanks for sharing.

Tami-s Breeze

Re: When to Tell a Prospect You Had Enough.

Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆
# 4
Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆
Sometimes no matter how hard your work it, there is no making up for time you invested. If the prospect doesn't have the funds for a campaign, then tabling the discussion is sometimes the only sensible choice. On occasion pro-bono work has led to introductions to more profitable business, but that is rare in my experience.

Part of me wonders who else the finance prospect pulled that stunt with, sounds like they had you on the line for some time. Personally, I find these prospects to be most frustrating because a little bit of transparency could have saved you both a lot of time and effort.