Ever have a difficult client? Were you desperate enough to work with her even though you knew it was going to be trouble? What did you do about it?
It’s a choice, you know. In our business we get to choose who we work with. Now I’m not suggesting illegal discrimination, here. We don’t violate Fair Housing or discriminate based on race, sex, etc. That is not what I’m talking about.
I had a client who owned her house outright, wanted to sell it and buy another with the cash proceeds. In my market that was about half a million dollars in volume and I had nothing else going at the moment. The market was down and we could really use the business.
However she kept doing things that made life difficult. She would call the listing agent on a house, arrange to go see it and if she liked it, wanted me to write up the offer. I explained that we needed to go see it together and she needed to stop calling the listing agents. After the 5th or 6th time it happened I was really frustrated with her but kept talking myself into sticking with it.
Then I got word she was trying to ‘sell’ her house to a family member and lie about the amount she got (not sure why because she didn’t owe any taxes) and I was finally at the end of my rope. I called my coach and my attorney to see what my next step ought to be. I wanted some advice and a new perspective.
My attorney got to me first. Eric listened to my plight and after a few minutes he made some suggestions on how to document the situation, a few things to try and say to her and he wished me luck. I was encouraged but still frustrated.
The my coach called me. Merrill had been my coach for a while and we shared a similar sense of humor. I told him it was all good and I was sorry for wasting his time. He told me “No, I carved out some time so let me hear the story”, so I shared what was going on. The details took about 20 minutes to relay and he patiently listened the whole time.
At the end he said “have you ever seen Monty Python and the Holy Grail?” and I could hear him smiling when he said it. I said ‘yes’ and his response was “Good, you’ll understand when I say … RUN AWAY, RUN AWAY!!“. ( If you don’t understand then follow the link but it’s a bit graphic).
At the end of the conversation he shared how sometimes it’s best to fire a client and release the negative energy. He was right. By the end of the next week I had 5 new leads and about double the volume of those two deals and praise God, I didn’t have to talk to that client again. I had the keys to the handcuffs the whole time and didn’t even know it. We get to pick.
If you feel stuck with a client and desperate for the commission check it might be time to release yourself from those handcuffs and make a few calls to your best referring folks and past clients. It will improve your mood and you just might find a new, better client.
Thanks for listening,
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