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A Missed Opportunity: When Not To Pursue A Prospect

 

There are times in our business when we drop the ball and miss an opportunity.  It’s happened to us all for one reason or another. It’s certainly happened to me, multiple times.

Recently I offered an opportunity to a young entrepreneur I met at a speed networking event. She was experiencing high churn with her customers.

As a massage therapist, she would go above and beyond to please her customers. Offering discounts and special gifts to her first-time customers was a common practice and yet, very few would return for a second visit.

The massage therapist spent a lot of time and energy promoting her business and she wasn’t gaining the momentum and security of serving regular clients.

Ouch!!!

It’s hard work to drum up new business without referrals or word of mouth buzz. And to have to do this work repeatedly month in and month out, well that’s…. hell, pure hell.

As the young lady told her story, I could see the pain in her body language. The way she’d fidget in her seat and the tone of her voice told me her need was urgent.

I shared how I help small business owners with the massage therapist and her posture changed instantly. We both felt the magnetic pull of an opportunity.

She leaned in and asked a few questions as we exchanged contact info.  I responded to the young massage therapist and let her know I’ll follow up with her to schedule a one on one.

No matter how hot the lead may seem, there’s always some (poo emoji) in the game which can turn an easy sale into a non -starter.

Since our meeting happened on a Friday afternoon, I sent and email before the weekend was out.

No response.

I waited a few days, then I called and left a voicemail.

No response

This went on for two weeks. Each time I emailed or left a voice message,

Then one day, I called and she answered the phone.

“Hi, it’s Tamara from the speed networking event from 2 weeks ag……”

“Hey, you’re breaking up and I’m in Walgreens, can I call you back later today?” She cut me off with such precision that I was caught off guard.

“Sure.” I replied.

She hung up right away.

As embarrassed as I felt, I was still determined. I’ll wait until early evening for her call and if she doesn’t call back, I’ll reach out. I waited until early evening and I texted her.

The massage therapist responded to the text with, “Hi, I’m doing well, how are you? I’m sorry but today is my day off.”

WHAT?

Your day off?

It’s a WEDNESDAY!!!  What self-respecting entrepreneur would respond to a business call like that?  All types of thoughts raced through my mind. The old Tamara would have totally flipped and snapped at her, but of course I didn’t.

My reply was, “No worries, have a great evening.”

I quickly searched for her contact information and threw it away. I made sure there was no chance in hell I’d keep trying to connect with her.

The young lady’s response was a red flag that she wasn’t ready to work with me.

Some believe I missed out on a sale and a year ago, I would have continued nurturing her. Yet, I’ve matured as a business owner since then and have realized 2 game changing facts.

  • There are people searching for my services than I can serve.
  • Having a scarcity mentality only produces more scarcity.

Being selective in who we engage with is just as important in business as in our personal lives. I have to evaluate and validate the resources I use if I want to stay in business. It takes valuable resources to convert prospects into clients so qualifying prospects is a necessity.

How do you decide which prospects to pursue and who to drop?

 

 

 

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