5 Clients who never order


#1

How do you treat prospective clients who keep on asking, but never commit to an order?

I have plenty of those who keep on asking, changing their requirements, ask for quotes, your opinion, what should they do? How should they do it? They have ONE thing in common: THEY NEVER ORDER.

  1. “I will order next week”. And they disappear for a week, come back to you, and ask to include something else in the offer. Never actually places an order.

  2. “I don’t have funds on my bank account, Will order after my next paycheck” First of all, What the …? You don’t have 5-20 dollars on your bank account? And of course, they come back, and ask for something else. Never actually places an order.

  3. “How much is this? How much is that? How much would it be if…” And it keeps on going forever. Never actually places an order.

  4. “What’s your opinion, what should I do here?” And he/she drops a 5 page document detailing his/her situation, project. They keep on discussing the best solution for days. Never actually places an order.

  5. “Can you do that cheaper?” Sure. “Can you include that too?” Sure. Can you do it even cheaper? Well… Sure. Never actually places an order.

So how do you treat them? Is it worth putting effort in them? Do you just stop responding? Block? What’s your take on clients like these? What’s your favorite story?


#2

Hello fogi, nice to see you here!

I have had the first two types who say they will come back in a week and order sometimes actually come back in a few days or a week and place orders but often they don’t.

I’ve told a couple of the others lately that they can come and place an order when they are ready and then ignored the continuing questions. I never tell anyone who asks if I can do it cheaper that yes I can. I told one yesterday no it was already a big discount and she placed an order.

I tell the ones who send long documents that I won’t read all that but they are welcome to place an order. I believe in being as direct as possible.


#3

In sales (which is what this part of being a freelancer is), these people are called tire kickers. The name comes from the classic, car sales environment where salespeople hate people who come in, look around, pretend they know stuff about cars and tend to do stereo-typically nonsense things, like walk up to cars and “kick their tires” as if this is some kind of magic test to tell the quality of a car as opposed to what it actually does which is tell you whether a tire needs air or not…

These tire kickers are generally oblivious to how irritating they are. They are often lost in their own world and what they need to do. With that in mind, being abrupt with them tends to get a nasty response and asking for money tends to shake them to their core. If you are abrupt with them, they see you as terrible business people and asking for money for “just a bit of advice” seems like an alien concept to them.

There are lots of great blogs about ways to deal with tire kickers out there so I am not going to try answer fully here. However, a couple of things can help with the initial “sounding out” of a client.

  • When asked for a discount right at the beginning, don’t say yes straight away. Get more details of the project and for a bigger project, tell them that part 2,3 or 4 will get a discount. Their reaction will tell you a lot about how serious they are.
  • How much? Instead of just sending a price, send a custom offer. If they change the needs, just direct them to the gig page. If you get a lot of these, it might be worth creating a pricelist that you can send quickly.
  • What’s your opinion? Tell them, that to really give an opinion you need to look it over properly and this will cost $xx - send in a custom offer too.

#4

Some are trying to get free advice or have someone to discuss their lives with at no charge. I’m not going there with them. I tell them I’ve very busy but they are welcome to place an order and sometimes they do.

They probably go around to lots of sellers in our category doing this and are surprised to get someone like me who is not willing to take the bait.

The longer the initial conversation lasts, the less likely they are to place an order.


#5

I worked with a guy and I always send him my work without watermark before he place an order. I mean when you worked with somebody long enough, you can let him place an order later. Sometimes, he says he need time for bank transfering and he placed an order after that.


#6

I’ve had 8 of them in the last 3 days so this post is making me believe that there’s a pattern here.


#7

I’ve had a huge increase in tire kickers in the past three weeks as orders have tanked at the same time so I’m not sure what’s going on. Suddenly there are lots of people going around trying to get me to chat with them and answer endless questions or send multiple custom offers.

Maybe it’s the big advertising blitz fiverr is now doing on youtube. People on youtube are looking for ways to make money so maybe they are seeking some information for that reason. These are all people who have just signed up.


#8

Very true, the longer we speak the faster I want to get out of the situation. When there is a prospect I really don’t want to work it, I usually send them a custom offer with a hefty pricetag. If they are willing to pay that, which sometimes they do, I am happy to take their business.


#9

I started offering consultations on two services around a year ago. They have been my top earning gigs for approx 6 months now. If you do it well, it can make a huge difference. For a service like yours it needs to be defined clearly so there is a beginning and end but I think there is a market there.


#10

@eoinfinnegan Definitely there is a market, I have started to experiment, set up a gig which is basically a consulting one, and we can discuss the client’s needs - Paid.


#11

Exactly
Recently i face 2-3 clients like that :slight_smile:


#12

Just had a client who has been messaging me for almost 4 weeks now about SEO.
His latest message was asking for two services to be done for the price of one. I refused and suggested that if price was an issue, he should look for a different seller (in a nice way).

True to tire kicker form, and as I explained in my comment above, he responded badly, suggesting that I had “over-reacted” and that I had lost myself a sale because of my attitude.
What I actually did was deal with him politely but clearly and he didnt like the response so he will now go and ask someone else lots of questions. I didn’t lose a sale here, I lost an annoyance and protected my time.


#13

This!!! Only I talked with a potential client for a couple of days, told me that he wants to order, but would like to know how I would make his design. Stupidly, I started describing the design I had in mind then sent him the custom offer. He just told me that he found someone cheaper and he won’t order from me, 15 minutes after I hit sent on the idea. So, he went with my idea to someone else.

You only make this mistake once.

But usually I try to answer any questions they have the first time and if they come back once a week with a new question, I try to send them faster/shorter replies.

I even have a user who sends me messages once in 3-4 months for two years now. Every time he asks something different and he ordered exactly once from me.


#14

I get long messages of people’s lives that could be a magazine article. I’m not interested in reading them and they aren’t helpful to what I do in my gigs. I wouldn’t want to charge either to give advice to people about them, as they never stop once they find a willing listener sometimes. And they don’t really want help. They want to have someone hear out their stories, all of which involve a lot of depression, delusions, and self pity.


#15

I would need to charge about $250. I would only want to deal with them for three days for that. It’s excruciating.


#16

And I have just had a client who is asking questions, will “maybe” order in 3 weeks, etc… Gave him an offer and I haven’t heard from him for a while.


#17

As a result of the service i offer, a times I need clients to send in their files for a preliminary check before I accept to work for them.

A few times, after checking and actually confirming that I can handle the job, they just dissapear. I’ve seen this happen up to 5 times :cry:


#18

I guess it is the cost of doing business. Maybe after the heck, when you get back to them, you should have an offer, you give them something if they order in the next 24 hours. Could be an ebook, some additional service which does need too much of your time, anything value to them, but easy for you.


#19

I also have this experience, and buyer came back after a day,He was very happy with my services.


#20

If a buyer leaves from my inbox there is no point having a gig.

I have converted most of these buyer into sales.