If you run a business, you will already know how precious your time is. This is why it’s so important to ensure that you avoid time wasters, and that’s what this post is all about.
One of the biggest time sucks in business, are those seeking free advice from you, with no intention of repaying you in any way. Often, these time wasters will disguise themselves as prospective clients or customers, in an effort to get the benefit of as much free information from you as possible. These are the time wasters I am going to focus on in this post!
Unless you have nothing better to do (and I know you have), you need to identify and remove these people from your business as soon as possible. You see, that “free” advice is only free for them! That so-called free advice costs you, in lost productivity and the inevitable slump you feel, after realising you have been suckered!
How to spot the time wasters
If there is someone right now, who you suspect is just trying to get as much free advice from you as they can, with no intention of repaying you for all that great information, I have a simple tip for you.
Try this: Ask them for some measurable time scales!
For example, ask them when they will have the funding in place. Ask them when they plan to get started with you. If they give you vague answers like “soon” or some other general answer, ask them for clarification. If they are serious, they will value and respect your need for clarity. It shows them that you are keen, interested and professional. However, if they were not genuinely interested in working with you, they will immediately realise that their game has been tumbled. They will then go and find another victim to drill for free information and you will have lost nothing.
Of course ultimately, the way you decide to allocate your time is down to you. If you want to spend more of your time speaking with people, who have a genuine interest in your services, you may find that simple idea useful. It has worked for my marketing business for more than a decade and saved me more time than any time management strategy I know.