How not to choose the wrong client

Don’t get seduced by a potential customer with a fat, bulging wallet. Remember the old saying: “all that glitters is not gold”.

My husband is working on a tender for a job in the Far East. Of course the businessmen concerned are rich, and want large, expensive work to be done, which adds to the attraction of the job, but they are proving to be nightmare clients.

Why so? Well, these particular kind of businesses are used to asking for things to be done immediately, which is generally accomplished for them because of their financial power. As long as the job is completed within the requested time, then they’re happy. Trouble is, to get the work done within such a time frame, it usually is rushed and of poor quality. Then another commission is made for a repair job to rectify the first one, and again it needs to be done now! So the same thing happens again.

Now if proper attention was made from the beginning to properly analyse the job needed, with appropriate materials and an adequate time span, then everything would be completed in less time and with fewer expenses. Ideas should be fully discussed, and understood, even starting as jottings on the back of an envelope right up to fully developed proposals put out to tender. If all the details are not fully explained, don’t then wonder why your workers haven’t completed your commission to your expected standards.

To have an idea and then click your fingers towards a likely candidate isn’t the answer: careful consideration and well thought out procedures put into place will save money as well as time later. Don’t wear out your task-force by expecting them to drop everything and produce at short notice. Respect your workers and how they operate, be mindful of their needs and understand why certain things are ‘not possible at the moment’.

I know this is hard, but if you find you are out of your depth, sometimes it’s better to say ‘No’ to a such a client if you want to keep your sanity (and in some cases your business) rather than to run yourself ragged trying to fulfill a job that isn’t possible. This is especially prevalent during a recession when there isn’t a lot of money around, and it is usually desperation that causes bad decisions to be made.

And especially be aware of the client hasn’t coughed up yet, in spite of all their supposed wealth! – remember to get a deposit first to prove their good intentions. If they don’t show good will through a down payment, then leave them well alone. You’ll be saving yourself from a huge amount of hassle later on.

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