Great post Terry.
We had a social marketing and sales presentation at our local NKBA Chapter meeting last month and the term "Takers" was used often. Many people are "Takers" - it's human nature to try and ubtain as much from someone as we can. Many do not stop there they call back looking for more "Free information". Take, Take, Take.
In the meeting the presenter spoke about better qualifying of clients. And suggested methods of weeding out the "takers" from the potential clients. In this age of info and free info we are surely part of the problem providing so much online support. I do like helping more people - I do this because it helps me to. I think in time retail stores will adjust and do a better job qualifying shoppers before dropping their pants in price.
I started adding in random names on my call list or contact list. If someone calls I try and arrange a meeting - I'll answer a few questions and make sure to be broad enough not to answer it fully. I then add in a name like "one call info steam" as a contact name. Often these numbers come up again on my phone six months later and I ask if we spoke before. 8 out of ten times the "Takers" say no and straight away I know they are fishing for advice.
A call came up on my phone last week that read "Third Call Kerdi" - I had some fun with the call and told her all that she needed to know. I spoke in technical mumble jumble and told her all the things she needed to do. The lady was exhausted and then asked me straight out if she could do A,B,C. I told her that was an easy question to answer onsite and that my trip charge would be $250.00 plus GST. She found this outrageous - Yet she did not think calling me four times durning work hours was a big deal. When she failed later the same week a second call from the same number came in. This time the husband asking the same question. I asked him flat out why his wife didn't book the trip call and he played dumb. The guy said "This is the first time I called you."
Beware of the "takers" - people need to give us time to do our sales process. If a client does not have two hours for me - I do not have 2 minutes for them.
I send as much business as I can to the local plumbing wholesaler. I shop at a box store as little as possible. Your take on things Terry is refreshing - shop local an d support the families who's kids you play soccer against and who have been around for years.