One day, two very different inquiries

Andrew Neitlich

Thursday I got two very different inquiries from prospects.

Inquiry One: Someone was interested in one of my $50 books. He sent an email asking a variety of questions. Some were perfectly legitimate. Some of his other questions told me that he was not an ideal client by any means. He wanted to know if he could “trust me” in case he wanted a refund. And he asked questions that told me that he would require lots of convincing to buy the book, and then would have many more questions later on. His questions also gave the impression that $50 was a lot of money for him, and that he was more likely than most people to want his money back for minor reasons.

Inquiry Two: The CEO of a tech company called. His investors want him to triple sales next year. He liked the articles on my site and wanted to see if I could help him get similar results. We spoke for a half hour, and by the end of the call agreed to work together. He paid me right away for an initial engagement worth thousands.

I have no problem with the individual described in Inquiry #1. He has every right to ask questions about a purchase and to expect good answers.

But I REALLY have no problems with the individual described in Inquiry #2. For a few minutes more time, I closed an engagement with him worth about 200 times the revenue that the person in Inquiry #1 was going to provide.

The point: There are lots of prospects out there. You should be very clear about what an ideal prospect is for you. When one contacts you, do what you can to get the business.

Perhaps more importantly, when a non-ideal prospect contacts you, be cordial. But don’t spend more time than you need to. You might regret it later, when the non-ideal prospect turns out to be a non-ideal client. Also, definitely don’t get upset if the non-ideal prospect doesn’t buy. I haven’t heard back from Inquiry #1 yet, and am not losing sleep over it.