How to Deal with Customers who Monopolize Your Time

You’ll encounter a number of personalities as a business owner. Most are pleasant but some are downright rude. Others might be quirky, yet fun. Still, others can be flat-out nightmares. Then, there are those clients who demand too much, want to pay too little, and brag about their importance, yet still, have high praise for you. Of course, there are also niche personalities, people who possess less-than-desirable traits, such as individuals who take up way too much of your precious time, completely oblivious to the fact you must also take care of others. Fortunately, there are a few ways to cope with customers who tend to monopolize your time.

Time-Wasting Customers Take a Big Toll

It’s not just the boring, pointless conversations that are problematic. It’s the fact that you’re having to take time away from true priorities. Obviously, this can be very frustrating and even detrimental to your business. After all, if you can’t attend to matters as needed, it causes you to rush and that leads to mistakes. But, it also has other negative consequences. For instance, draining you mentally and straining your patience thin.
Good salespeople understand how to walk a fine line between ignoring a client and spending too much time on him. As a sales professional, you need to learn how to use your time to maximum advantage. If a client or customer is monopolizing your time with no intention of buying anything, the ability to disengage without causing offense is vital. —Houston Chronicle Small Busienss
When you experience such feelings, it can easily put you in a bad mood. A foul state of mind could also cause you to unfairly snap at your own team. Or, just ruin a good portion of your day. At the very least, you’ll probably become preoccupied and ruminate on your misfortune, which might lead you to become apathetic for the rest of the afternoon.

How to Deal with Customers who Monopolize Your Time

The thing is, a good percentage of time-monopolizers aren’t really conscious of their own behavior. (Unless it’s such an annoying trait, other people have made them aware.) Even if he or she knows their tendency, it’s a very difficult behavior to change. Which means it’s largely on you. Here are a few effective strategies for dealing with customers who monopolize your time:
  • Redirect his or her attention. Instead of cutting off the conversation entirely, steer it in another direction. Ask about his or her specific interests in relation to your mutual business and give them a few options to consider. This creates a bit of a diversion and puts the onus on him or her to move the interaction along in a constructive manner rather than meandering from one thing to another.
  • Reschedule and restructure. You can also reschedule a day and time to meet, with certain parameters so it isn’t open-ended. For example, excuse yourself with the caveat you’ll meet again soon. Set a time and also set a structure or an agenda so that he or she knows it’s all about getting things accomplished in a cooperative, timely manner.
  • Get him or her to focus. If you sense he or she is about to go off on a tangent, grab his or her attention with a point or fact that moves the conversation toward a conclusion. This could be about a timeframe, price, quantity, or something else. It should serve as a way to complete the transaction at hand.
Regardless of what strategy you choose, or even if you use a combination, always express your appreciation and let them know how valuable they are to your business. Don’t rush and take time to listen to his or her feedback so you don’t accidentally cause an unnecessary rift that could result in unexpected repercussions. What other suggestions would you give entrepreneurs who experience time monopolizers? Please take a moment to share your thoughts; it could be a big help to others when they need it most! Interested in learning more about business? Then just visit Waters Business Consulting Group.

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