Letting Go Of Time Suckers: Tips & Tricks
Letting go of time suckers may be one of the most important things you can do for your business and for our own peace of mind.
Time suckers can show up in many forms.
Last week the time sucker that reared its ugly head for a few clients and even for myself is the person/prospect that doesn’t appreciate what we have to offer. We all know on an intellectual level that not everyone’s a client. Yet, when we're confident we can help someone, it's difficult to hear they’re no longer interested. Mourning the loss of these types of prospects is a complete time suck. Chances are they were never going to become a client in the first place.
Examples Of This Time Suckers
The first example is a client who lost a deal because the prospect felt they needed a more “serious” company for their project. This was the reason they gave my client anyway. It turns out my client sent a fun and thoughtful gift that the prospect didn't appreciate. The gift was in no way inappropriate and frankly, most people would have been touched by it. For whatever reason, the gift didn't go over the way it was intended. My client was incredibly disappointed in the loss of the deal. My client is a fun, out of the box thinker and the prospect isn't. It wasn't a good fit from the get-go. As hard as it is to be told no from a prospect, it's even worse to get their business and never be able to please them.
The second example of time suckers are clients that received an email from a customer that basically said, “It's not you, it's me.” and had decided to discontinue their service. My client didn't know what to do or how to take it. It's so easy to spend time and energy trying to figure out what we did wrong or what we could have done differently. However, without the other person being candid, all we can do is guess. Guessing is a complete time sucker because we'll never know what the real answer was and more than likely the reason(s) we come up with will always be the worst case scenario.
Time Suckers Continued:
The last example of this was an email sent from someone cursing me out for emailing their son. The person demanded I stop contacting their son immediately. At first, I was horrified to receive such a harsh email and worried I’d made a mistake. Turns out the email address was put into my system 2+ years ago by someone wanting a free download. I have no way to know if the email address was entered incorrectly or if the son did it. Either way, it’s not something I can control. A part of me as offended and indignant that someone would accuse me of doing something inappropriate, not to mention curse me out in an email. They could have just as easily hit the “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of the email. However, spending any time and energy trying to defend me is a total time sucker.
Overcoming The Time Suckers
So often we feel compelled to want to justify or explain ourselves to the people who just don't get us. Whether it's my client explaining the intent of her gift, my other client explaining the value of her service or me explaining how I didn't add the son to my email list, it's not worth it. It's harder than ever to change people's minds nowadays and frankly, why should you try. When you go into justify mode, people are even more likely to discount what you have to say. We are so skeptical as a society.
Instead, keep your professional composure intact, wish people well and move on. Don't let this time sucker drag you down. When we take our cues from all the beautiful trees around us here in the Pacific Northwest, there's a valuable lesson to be learned. I read recently that the trees know how to let go of the old to make room for the new. The simply don't hold on to the leaves that are done with them, they release them.
Ask yourself, what are you holding on to right now? What are you ready to let go of so you can make room for the new clients coming your way?
Wishing you continued success.
Agree? Disagree? Have additional comments or thoughts on this article? Please share.