One of our discussions this week at our team meeting was about how to protect yourself from toxic people and toxic transactions.
Have you ever had one of those? Unfortunately, if you've had the opportunity to interact with at least a few clients then you've likely come across some of these people, or been in a transaction with them. People who are rude, disrespectful of you, your time, your knowledge, your experience. I truly believe that some of them just don't know any better, or understand how our industry works. Others are just mean people who will do and say whatever to get what they want. They will drain you of your drive, your energy, and your ability to serve your other clients.
So when you find yourself in one of these situations, what do you do? How do you get out of it?
First, as painful as it may be, I think you must have an open conversation. Separate the facts about the situation/behavior from what you are guessing (I think they call me with one hours notice to see homes because they don't respect me or my time), and ask questions.
If the conversation doesn't go well, or you just know that this is not someone you want to work with, I have two scripts to share with you. One for the client that may just be a bad personality mix for you and would do well with someone else, the other that you wouldn't give to your worst enemy.
For the client/prospect who is referable ...
"Suzy, I have so enjoyed working with you. I'd like to connect you with my colleague Jim moving forward. Based on your needs and style of doing business, I know that he can provide the very best service to you. He will be giving you a call within the hour."
For the client/prospect who is not referable ...
"Joe, I would really like to be able to help you, but at this point what you require from your agent and the market is more than I can give. I wish you the very best."
We've had this conversation before, but I will say it again ... the key to being able to avoid these types of clients is working by referral and regular prospecting and engagement with your database. When you have choices ... meaning a strong pipeline of good people to work with ... it is easier to say no to the ones that are bad than if they are the only prospects you have. You don't have to settle for that.