Fair Warning! In the beginning of this post I was a bit frustrated. I’m sure you’ll see why (and I’m sure you can relate!)
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been yanked around by “potential” clients. I put potential in quotes because these people only appear like they might become my clients…
But in truth…
They are energy-sucking vampires who only want me for one thing: my knowledge. They suck information out of me, luring me on with the promise of working together. But they never planned on working together. They just wanted answers to questions.
Or, at least they used to. Because recently I put an end to it. However, it’s not always easy to push away these kinds of people. And if you’re the kind of person who has trouble being blunt and open about what your’e thinking and feeling, it can be even harder (this is hard for me – I have to force myself to do it sometimes).
That’s why I’ve put together…
2 Fail-Proof Ways to Get Rid of Time-Wasters (while still being polite!)
1. The Excuse
Okay, so I know excuses don’t normally sound too appealing… But if all else fails this is the way to go!
Now, before you write me off, let me explain… See, sometimes these kinds of people are very hard to get off the phone with. Or if you bump into them, it’s hard to shake’em. They simply won’t give you room to even tell them what you’re thinking and feeling.
So tell’em you have to go. Tell’em you have an appointment to go to and you’re running late. Because here’s the cool thing about meetings & appointments: anything can be an appointment!
Got some relaxing to do? A show to watch? Some not-being-around-that-person to get done? Make it an appointment with yourself, and stick to it!
This is a very safe, non-confrontational way to go. Normally I’m all about being open and honest – but sometimes people just aren’t willing to listen. In those cases – just do what you have to do to walk away energetically unscathed.
2. Blunt as a Hammer
Here’s the second way to go: being extremely honest. Looking that person in the eyes and telling them what you really feel.
However, you can do that while still maintaining your integrity, and without being a jerk. Here’s a great method I’ve found to do that…
Start your sentences with “I feel.” That makes it about you – and the person won’t feel like you’re blaming them for anything. You’re keeping the focus on yourself.
So, for example…
“Hey, I gotta be honest with you. I feel like this conversation isn’t really progressing, and I’d like to talk about your final decision. I don’t mean to be rude, I just have a lot going on. So, is this something you want to move forward with, or not?”
“Listen, I feel like every time we talk, we have long conversations but you never end up working with me. So I need to know, do you plan on working with me? Or do you just have questions you want answered, but you don’t really plan on hiring me?”
This can be scary! Very scary. Esepcially if you’re not used to being so honest with people you’re not close to. But it gets easier every time, and you’ll feel like a champ afterward. After all, you’re claiming your space, and not letting people walk all over you.
Okay, now it’s your turn.
What are your secrets for dealing with people like this? Have any questions? Comments? Thoughts?
Would love to hear them. And I could use a lot of advice on this subject, too. This isn’t easy for me. So if you have any advice to offer, then help! Just write it in the comment box below.
Have a great one,