“So-and-so charges 20% less. I’d work with you if you lower your fee.”
“Can’t you just throw in this one other thing?”
“We really need everything in your gold level, but we only have the budget for the silver level.”
“Loved the demo, thanks for putting it together. But we really don’t need that system now.”
“Why don’t you send us a proposal and we’ll get back to you.”
If you’ve been in business for years, or even just a few months, you’ve heard these remarks from prospects.
I call them scammers—scam prospects to be precise.
They make you feel great, so important, your work is the best ever!
They want demos and proposals!
Then they ghost you or want to “negotiate” a very low fee.
I think these scam prospects are just like the scammers we’re warned about this time of year.
So how can you avoid being scammed by “prospects” that only want to steal your intellectual property from you?
- Trust (your gut)
You can prevent being scammed by talking a lot when you first meet.
I don’t mean an interrogation with your 100 questions to get to ‘yes.’
If your goal is to get to yes, you will definitely fall prey to the scammers. They hear your goal loud and clear with each clever question designed to build a case for why they should buy from you.
I must say that it’s only been the past 18 months or so that I’ve understood how dangerous the concept of getting to yes is. So if you’ve been inculcated to do this, breaking from it will be a shock to your system.
There is another way.
It’s to talk for the purpose of you evaluating them.
Are they actually a great fit for our firm?
Do they understand and want to pay for the way we will change their life?
I’ve designed the 6 question set to get to know each other. You can download the pdf here.
Notice that you ask them why they thought they should call you. And you quickly get to the question of money.
This leads to the next step:
Analyze their answers and the whole vibe of the conversation.
How thorough was their response to what they love about their business?
Scammers haven’t given much thought to this. They’re just out to steal from you.
What did they say when you asked about the issue they think you can help them with? Vague, jargon-filled, lots of buzz words? Those are a clear tip off to their intent to scam.
Hear their intent behind the answer about having money to spend. Anything less than “Yes, this is important and we will spend the money” is fake.
Trust (your gut)
When you feel red flags, or are suspicious about intent and commitment, trust those feelings.
I wrote my book “Tinker” to illustrate that hunches bubble up from your experiences and knowledge.
They’re not random fantasies. When your gut tells you this “prospect” is a scammer, trust it.
The great news is that your gut will also tell you when a prospect is real and could become a great fit client.
Your gut and your hunches are built into your mind and body. You don’t have to look outside to find them.
Use them to warn you of scammers—
And to tell you when great fit prospects are eager to become great fit clients.
If you want great clients
They waste your time and energy and steal from you.