How to Not Waste Time on Bad Prospects (Yet Still Be of Service)

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This topic came up in my local Women's Money MasterMind meeting today. I did some coaching around it for the ladies and thought it would be relevant to you, too.


Have you ever felt like you waste a lot of your precious/valuable time on "free consultations" with prospects who just weren't a good fit or didn't have the means/urgency to pay you to help them? How can you "weed them out" without feeling unkind or judgmental.

One of our members mentioned how she was finding ways to save her contractors from spending time on jobs or estimates that weren't a good use of their time–either because the person was just price shopping, or their job wasn't something the homeowner was likely to pay their fee for because it was a less-skilled type of task that wouldn't fit the cost per hour, or perhaps because it would require more time than they could dedicate or had a deadline they couldn't meet.


Another woman in the group mentioned that something I taught her during our coaching time together was really helpful in minimizing those time wasters:


Asking questions!


Having a preliminary questionnaire you require prospective clients fill out ahead of time or a list of qualifying questions you make sure to ask them–before you even agree to offer your free time–will weed out a good portion of time wasters:

  • "tire kickers" (just researching)
  • "price shoppers" (looking for the lowest price–don't let that be your selling point)
  • bad fits (what they need is not matched well to what you do) 
  • bad attitudes (negative Nellies, blaming others for their situation)
  • "not readies" (they don't see their issue as urgent to fix now)
  • "can't pay for its" (they are looking for free help or really do not have the means to pay your fees)

The more questions you ask, the more you can determine if the person is likely to be a good fit for you (and you for them), and worth opening up your calendar for.


Now don't misunderstand me. I will never turn anyone away who reaches out to me for help. However, if I don't feel it's a good fit both ways, I will offer them at least one other solution that would more likely help them–whether it's something of mine that is free and doesn't require 1 on 1 time or a referral to someone or something else that they could follow up on. 


I recommend you make this a practice of yours, as well. They might eventually be right and ready for you after taking some other actions, or be inclined to refer others to you because you showed integrity and caring. (And if not, karma's still got you.)



Create your qualifying questions. What things do you need to know to determine what someone needs and if they ready, willing and able to devote time, energy & money to get. This can include:

  • How urgent or important it is to them to resolve
  • What are their motivators for getting help (what gain/avoid)
  • What they have tried in the past that hasn't worked/lasted
  • Why they were drawn to you–what they think you have that could help them
  • If they have a budget or means to pay for your services (this can be a tricky one to ask about/assess)

Share with me and others your ideas, comments, questions and any action you took as a result of this challenge. Would love to hear from you (and it's a strategic way to let others know about your business, wink wink).

Do you need help attracting more ideal clients who are willing and able to pay you for your services? Schedule a complimentary Strategy Session with me 
to identify what tactics you are missing in the three keys of creating a successful business–Marketing, Mindset and Manifesting–and IMMEDIATE steps to take so you can get more clients and make a difference in more lives!

Your partner in success,

Lisa Smith
Marketing, Mindset & Manifesting Coach

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