Many years ago I learned a very important lesson whilst visiting an estate agent whom I knew quite well. He had a successful suburban estate agency in an affluent part of London.

Like many agents, he had several young “negotiators” in his shop/office, all very smooth and thinking they owned the world because they had a suit, a company Ford Escort XR3i and spoke in hundreds of thousands and some even just referring to “one point two mil” as if it was nothing. In reality they were just out of school and in most cased with no trade or direction.

Whilst at the shop, a moderately dressed man came in and was looking to buy a flat. The young negotiator looked at him from the corner of his eye and with disdain, just about answering. The man wanted a small flat for £100k (today would be £200k). The young man, without really looking at the client, muttered that they didn’t handle property at that end of the market. He continued to look at his papers. The customer left.

The owner of the agency went to the negotiator’s desk and asked him if he had a cheque book. The negotiator said yes and was asked to take it out. He was then asked to write a cheque for £100k or at least £20k. The young man looked at him quizzically and said that he doesn’t have that much money. The owner said, you don’t but that man did, if I ever see you deal with a prospect like that I’ll kick your……………………

The moral of the story is every prospective customer is GOLD.