Last week we took a look at the Fisher, a client who you can waste a lot of time on because they don’t have any legitimate work for you. Today we’re going to zoom in on another type of person you might run into in a first meeting: the Square Pegger.

Unlike the Fisher, the Square Pegger does have a legitimate job for you to do. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s going to be easier to deal with. Here’s what you need to know to identify and manage this type of client.

First Meeting Client Profile: The Square Pegger

A square pegger is a client who isn’t the final decision maker, but they are responsible for getting something done. Because of that, they feel their job is on the line. They’re doing their due diligence, so they’re going to ask a lot of unusual questions that you might not normally run into in a first meeting.

The other clear sign of a square pegger is that they need specific examples of what they’re looking for. So let’s say you have a square pegger who needs a mobile app made. If you’ve never made a mobile app, they’re not going to work with you. They want to see exactly what they’re buying at the outset.

Managing the Square Pegger

One of the least effective things you can do with a square pegger is send them a huge proposal right up front. Any time you put in here that isn’t directly related to what they want will be wasted. Make sure you edit your proposal so it’s right to the point.

Another thing to keep in mind with this type of client is that they’re not the final decision maker. Something I like to do early on with any client is to determine what kind of partner they’re looking for. That way, if there are any issues we can’t overcome I don’t end up wasting either of our time. But with a square pegger, you have to be aware of everyone else that’s going to be looking at the proposal too.

Before a square pegger gives you the sale, they’re going to have to socialize your proposal with their peers. So not only do you have to understand what the person you’re talking to wants in a partner, you’re also going to have to understand the people around them. What are the trigger points that would lead each person to purchase? What might their objections be? Understanding the organization as a whole will increase your chance of a sale with this type of client, or help you decide quickly that they’re not someone likely to buy from you.

The Bottom Line

When you meet with a square pegger, understand that they’re looking for something specific that you may or may not be able to provide. I know I tend to bump into this client type quite a bit, so be on the lookout.  The sooner that you can show them precisely what they’re looking for, or the sooner you realize that the two of you aren’t a good match, the better.

Author Sang

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