Remember that scene in the Wizard of Oz, when Dorothy, Toto, the Scarecrow and the Tin Man are walking through a foreboding part of the forest?
Strange animals hoot. A sinister air lurks in the music. “I don’t like this forest, it’s dark and creepy,” Dorothy frets. Anxious and scared, the threesome lock arms and begin chanting “Lions and Tigers and Bears―O my!” as they hasten through the gloom. More and more certain with every passing moment that something Big and Terrible might pounce upon them.
And―Yikes! It did!!
A lion jumps and trounces, chases, growls and snarls. Until Dorothy, fed up, smacks him good on the nose. “Shame on you!” she cries.
And O how the Cowardly Lion blubbers! All bluster on the outside, a scaredy cat on the inside.
Remind you of any clients you ever had, have now or heard about?
When it comes to your least favorite clients, while they can run the gamut from mildly annoying to downright horrible, I suspect there’s a bit of fear, worry and uncertainty at play, just like with our Cowardly Lion friend.
For the most part, they’re likely wonderful and caring people who want to shine and do well. But certain situations trigger unhappy emotions or dastardly deeds, and lead them down the path to seemingly random acts of unkindness.
So, yes, while travelling upon the Yellow Brick Road of Marketing and Opportunity, you open yourself up to meeting new dear companions and mentors like the Scarecrow, Tin Man and Glinda the Good Witch. However, you also open yourself to being pounced upon by the less gracious―the bumbling Cowardly Lions of the world as well as (gulp) the frightening Wicked Witches.
Here’s something critical for you to remember about this scene.
Dorothy and her friends SENSED something unpleasant ahead. They tapped into their previous experiences about being in dark, scary forests. They recognized the red flags.
When it comes to less than favorable clients you can do this too. You can listen to your intuition, draw on prior experiences and look for red flags warning you to be aware, to be on guard.
What to do?
When you meet a new prospect, pay attention to subtle internal cues―are you feeling a happy smile spread across your face in response to their lit up eyes? Or a heaviness in your shoulders, discomfort in your gut, even a slight headache come on.
Look for outward signs as well. Do they seem eager to know more and respectful of your time? Or ho-hum-ish about what you say, show up late or even miss your get-aquainted chats?
These, and other tell-tale signs for “let's keep going,” or red flags for “fair warning,” can help you navigate a path to clients you love and filter out people that wouldn't be a good match.
Try this right now...
Grab a sheet of paper and draw a line down the middle. On the left, write "Let's Go!" at the top, and on the right add "Keep Away." Set your timer for ten minutes and brainstorm common characteristics of people you love, who become your clients AND common red flags that indicate yah better run, and list your ideas in the appropriate columns.
Congrats! Now you have a cheat sheet to uplevel your awareness every time you meet someone new or when you're having an enrollment conversation. As you proceed, you can check your list for "Let's go!" characteristics or, if they display too many "Keep Aways" decide that you better move on.
Have fun with this, and have a wonderful day:))
P.S. Want to avoid the shadowy forest of unpleasant clients? You got it. Just click here for an illuminating "Let's Chat" conversation, so you get on the path to attracting clients you adore.