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Warning! Client Red Flags

Do not pass Go.  Do not collect $200.

While it may be tempting to accept any business offer, you have to learn when to say no.  Ultimately, you’ll end up saving a lot of time, trouble and money.


Clear Signs You Should Pass on a Client

1.  Demeanor Towards Women in the Office

If you want to make women turn-off to doing business with you, simply call them one of the following: sweat heart, sweetie, beautiful, lady, touts or pretty much anything besides their name.  While this may seem “sweet”, it is actually incredibly old fashioned and demeaning.  If you add their last name to Ms. or Mrs. this is absolutely fine.  At first, I didn’t see much much wrong with this, until the women in the office began to get very irritated.  In the 1950s, this would pass as common language, however due to the fact that women have proven to be integral parts of both large and small organizations, you should respect them the same.  This means refraining from referring to them as anything besides a first name or Ms. or Mrs.

When a prospective or current client does this, the women in the office get offended (which I find to be justified), and the account is immediately passed off to me.

2.  Profanity

In my opinion, there are only a few good places to use profanity.  These are with friends, people whom you know, co-workers whom you trust or every now and then a pier family member.  Profanity is a large part of American language and serves its purpose at the right place and time. However, these words are never to be used professionally.  In a professional setting, profanity shows disrespect, immaturity and at the very least make you seem inarticulate.

If you think about it, why would you ever use profanity when first introducing yourself to a client or vendor?  Simply stated, it makes you look unprofessional and uneducated.

Yesterday, we got in a potential client who immediately began swearing on the phone.  As a corporate recruiting company, this made us think whether or not this individual would be able to sell potential applicants on working for him.  In the end, we chose not to take the account.

3.  Excessive Drinking During a Meeting

A true professional, when meeting a client for drinks or dinner, has a maximum of two drinks.  One is preferable, but if you are with the client over a span of more than two hours, this is fine.  Be warned! –  No matter how much your potential client drinks, you do not follow suit.  If a client runs up a bar tab, that means that they are probably not the decision maker (usually, not even close to), and are simply using the corporate expense account for fun.

*To see comments from some of our clients, go here.


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