Over the course of my life I’ve worked with some interesting segments of the professional realm. From Military to Construction to Commercial Landscape Management, I’ve found that most professions have their own language and expressions. I once did a week training in an accounting company, and many of them kept saying “T.I.A.” whenever we ran into hard-to-solve problems. I was eventually told it stood for “This Is Accounting”, which was a shrug the shoulders sort of statement with the meaning of “this is just part of the industry that can’t be helped.”

I was recently reminded of another one the Landscape guys used to say when they wanted to recommend a total redo of a project, instead of trying to catch up to years of neglected upkeep. 

“You can’t polish a turd. They’re only shiny when they’re new and all you’ll end up doing is messing up mom’s good towels.”

Sometimes, the project isn’t worth the work and it’s time to move on or start over. I mention this in the light of the several emails I got in response to last week’s post on the difference between stalking and being persistent. Many of you hit me with messages about the lonely exceptional times when stalking actually got you a client. Every rule has exceptions, I get that. Many of you, however, are falling in love with your prospects. Not the respectful and empowering love found in those nicer Hollywood romantic comedies with Sandra Bullock or Meg Ryan. No, not that love. You’re falling in love in a more psychotic “Fatal Attraction” or “Enough” kind of way. You’re volunteering to stay in an unhealthy and even abusive relationship, on the small chance that you get the payoff of……having that relationship become more permanent, and likely even more abusive?And what, I’m supposed to congratulate you and celebrate that?

If someone treats you like dirt when you’re dating, it should come as no surprise when they treat you poorly once you’ve married them. Bad prospects make bad customers. If you have to stalk someone to get them to buy, they likely don’t value you or your solution and are likely hence going to experience buyer’s remorse, and then make you pay for it in all kinds of ways. Especially if their buying was based on succumbing to your selling pressure. Trust me when I tell you, YOU DO NOT NEED OR WANT those kinds of clients!

I have a friend who in his younger days was a chronic bad dater. By that I mean he was systematically attracted to women who were not good for him, and not really good people either. By the time he had hit his 30’s, he had suffered so much abuse from girlfriends that he had figured out he was a magnet for bad romantic partners. It got so bad that he asked a few of us to step in and screen potential girlfriends for him. If he found someone attractive, he’d invite her to a group social where his “committee” could meet her and give him feedback before he invested himself in a relationship. Needless to say, we recommended “Move on dude” a number of times during that time period.
Allow me to extend you the same courtesy. You know that account that won’t give you a straight answer on where they stand? You know that account that goes silent, then asks for more information only to go silent again? Or the clients that always come back asking for more, not willing to justify why or explain why they are asking? How about those accounts that never respond at all? Yeah. Those are unhealthy and corrosive relationships. Last thing you want is to marry them as a client. You’re wasting precious time that could be spent with good potential partners.

Move on dude.