Don't get me wrong - I wish you many customers, but we all know there are some types which are better left out of the deal. If you take your time to learn how to recognize them, I believe it will be much easier for you to channel your energy towards real customers, rather than bothering with the ones that are not worth it. So, here they are:
1. The Browser - this type of customer is really interested in what your company has to offer, they make you explain everything twice, demand full offers etc., but at the end - they never had intention to buy. Not from you, not from anyone else. The best thing to do when you are contacting with such customers is to determine if they are buying on the initial meeting, so you can save both time and nerves.
2. The "Away" one - so, every time you schedule a meeting with this client he calls in the last minute to postpone it, because he is "called away on emergency"? If yes, then there is a big chance you are dealing with the "Away" one. He always calls before the meeting to tell you that he can't make it. Once is ok, twice - maybe ok, but the third time should tell you it's intentional and to avoid the customer.
3. The "Boss" - they claim to have full authority to buy, but actually - they play pretty small role in the decision making. Sometimes even no role at all. He will make decisions in front of you, but most of the time wouldn't be able to provide. Anyways, keep contact with him, but try to reach for bigger positions and especially for people in his company which can actually make decisions.
4. The "Discount" guy - they are the nice guys which negotiate with good faith and everything seems to go well. Right until the end of the negotiations where they tell you that they demand a (sometimes quite big) discount or the deal is off. Keep in mind that this might be a trick just to check out if you are solid or not, say no and if the deal disappears, then it has never been real in the first place...
5. The Copycat - this type of customer demands a full offer from you, with all the details, strategies and everything else. Then, right after you provide them with the proposal, they call the deal off and try to execute it by themselves or give it to another company as a "What to do" list. To avoid this situation - never give a full detailed proposal right away. Give basic guidelines on what needs to be done, and provide details on the following meetings (if there are any). Be sure that the customer really wants to work with you.
Do you know any other types of customers you should avoid? Share your thoughts in the comments.