Handling slow customers


I find difficult to handle some customers. They say to meet in some day, but something comes up and they dont appear.

They simply have something pressing to do, but I lose time and money with it.

Edit: This happens before and after i've made a sale. Contact physical meeting and I go to the customer. Selling software. The product sells below 1000USD. Meeting to talk about a sale after they contacted me or for support.

What are some good tactics to deal with this?

Thank you,

Customer Support

asked Dec 15 '09 at 03:38
Artur Carvalho
116 points
  • Need more info: Do you go to your customers or do they come to you? What are you meeting for? Is it a physical meeting or is it a phone meeting? What are you selling them? Do they initially contact you or do you contact them and then try to get them to meet with you? Are you selling a $200 product/service, or a $10,000 product/service? The answer to your question depends heavily on these conditions... – Gabriel Magana 14 years ago
  • thank you @gmagana. I added some details – Artur Carvalho 14 years ago
  • You mean inconsiderate customers, not slow customers. – Tim J 14 years ago
  • @Tim, some are inconsiderate. But there are also those that are busy. If they have 1 sick employee and they need to solve that problem or the establishment will be chaotic, you cannot deal with other stuff. – Artur Carvalho 14 years ago
  • Um, it is 2009, they could email or phone to say they can't make it. Not busy, not slow - inconsiderate. You need to change your methods then. Either do a web conference so it doesn't interrupt you day so much or suck it up and expect that that is the cost of the sales. Is this one of those cultural things- where time is not important to some people? – Tim J 14 years ago
  • Sometimes you see them running from one side to another while you wait. Some of these get other customers. I know there is a small difference between what Im saying and inconsiderate. Thank you for the comments Tim. – Artur Carvalho 14 years ago

2 Answers


This may not be the answer you are looking for, but my experience has taught me that you should fill your business with your ideal customer - even at the start. Granted, my previous experience was in the service industry, where I provided a consulting service to my customers so that might make a difference.

When you're first starting out, it's difficult to turn away potential customers or let go of customers that are time vacuum; after all, isn't every customer who is paying you money in the bank that you don't have as a start-up? To an extent this is true, but I believe that you should conduct your business, from day 1, as the type of business you dream it to be. If your product or service is great and your marketing good, the good customers will come. In the end, you'll be happier that you operate a business with customers who aren't behind on payments and aren't a waste of your time. This isn't to say that you shouldn't go above and beyond for customer service, merely identify and get rid of the customers that cost more than they are worth.

As a side note, don't assume anything about a customer before you have had an opportunity to interact. I have had numerous occasions where after the initial contact, I thought the customer was going to be a pain or that they wouldn't be a repeat only to find out that they become my absolute favorite customer and refer more business to me than I can handle.

answered Dec 15 '09 at 04:51
154 points


To prevent this sort of thing, we use a technique called "post-selling". Post-selling is a sales technique where you continue to negotiate even after you have agreement from the prospect on something. Basically, you are trying to prevent the prospect from changing his mind later on down the road. The technique works well when trying to get someone not to cancel a meeting.

Here's what it sounds like in your situation. After you have an agreement to meet on Monday at 2:00, say something like this.

You: Great, I'm looking forward to our meeting on Monday at 2:00. One quick question: Should I write this in my calendar in Pencil or in Pen? That is, is there a chance you'll have to cancel the meeting?

Prospect: Well, I have a staff meeting that sometimes runs long, so I might be late.

You: That makes sense. Say, is there a different day or time that would work better for you? I typically need the entire time we've scheduled, so I'd hate to run out of time and not be able to answer all of your questions.

Prospect: Yes, Tuesday is probably a better day come to think of it.

Once the prospect has agreed not to cancel the meeting, they will be much more likely to reschedule other conflicts rather than your appointment.

answered Dec 15 '09 at 05:04
Michael Trafton
3,141 points

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