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How To Sniff Out Bad Apple Clients, An Untold Tale

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Once upon a time...


The story of Snow White a classic tale of naivety.

She bit into a poisonous apple handed to her by one of the wickedest of witches. In hopes of stealing her beauty and sending her into a deep slumber never to awaken.

Which meant death.


Well, this is not the story I'll be sharing with you...


Instead, I'm here to tell the tale of what would've happened if Snow White knew the phrase "stranger danger" and went off on her merry way to pick flowers or whatever. 

I wish someone would've hipped me to these "sniffing out sour apple techniques" and identify potential nightmares in the making. In turn, avoiding the slow death of our soul --saving the heartache and future bags under your eyes. 


When you sniff out these 4 bad apple clients, don't take the bait.


Learn from Snow White. And stay woke.


1) They Won't Take The Test

If you have a system in place to qualify a client like a mini questionnaire, or survey etc and they avoid doing it. 

I smell something sour from this apple.

Having a process or steps in place before you hop on a call, helps you determine if you or they are a right fit without wasting anyone's time. If your intake process determines they're not emotionally or financially prepared to solicit your service, or they're asking for a project above your expertise. You can politely send them an email declining their acceptance and redirecting them somewhere else with a better fit.

Trust me on this.

If they refuse to answer a 5 min questionnaire, they'll most likely, fight your entire process.

And what's a business, without a process and systems?

The answer, a hobby.


2) They Won't Stop "But, what if..."-ing Your Price List

Having a price list is the most professional thing you can do for your business. 

Even Burger King has one.

  • It shows you've put thought into the details of every project. 
  • It shows you know what your ideal clients generally ask for. 
  • It's also a tell tale sign you have a system in place for generating results.


Then here comes a potential client "But, what if we didn't do this or take out this. Would it still be the same price?" 

Is there a worm I see in this apple?

They wouldn't negotiate paying $1.00 instead of $3.99 for their burger. They would just decide if they wanted cheese, bacon or both on it. If they're not going to battle with Burger King's menu, the same applies to your price list.


Go ahead and be generous: Add perks to the project like unlimited emailing throughout the working relationship or an additional thing-a-ma-jig but the price list is the price list.

Just be open to including fries with that.


3) They Ask a Ton of ROI Questions

Of course, you want to get a return on your investment. Duh.

It's the part where they put all the responsibility on YOU producing exceptional results overnight. They came in with a mess, expecting you to clean it up and someone to point the finger at, just because they were burned in the past. 

This apple looks bruised.

This is where you tell them, "We're not a good fit" and recommend therapy instead.


4) They Battle Every Gawddamn Suggestion

This one truly baffles me. 

They pay you (the expert) to get the job done...then tell you, they want to try it their way first. 

Why am I here?! 
Am I being punked?


These are one of those GMO apples. 

Here's where you take the reigns and remind them why they hired you in the first place. If they could have done it themselves, they would have rolled up their sleeves and took 40 days and 40 nights to get it right. What would've only taken you minutes.


Never undervalue your skills or allow the client to dictate terms. 


Answer their questions, show your skillful savviness but also reassure them --they're in expert hands. And here to awaken them, from what could have been, an eternal slumber.


How do you sniff out bad apple clients?