Firing a no-win customer

by admin on January 26, 2010

I am always leery of this type of customer –

  • They want your response ASAP (yesterday, nearly)
  • They give you an extremely short deadline
  • They are very particular (in a not so nice way)
  • They are not up front with all of their demands until after they get you to agree to work with them
  • They question if your bestselling product is really any good
  • They email you to call them ASAP and then they don’t answer the phone

I recently had to ‘fire’ a customer who did every one of the things listed above. I basically (in a very nice way) made it known that I could not (read ‘would not’) be able to fulfill their request(s).

From my past experience – you can never keep a picky customer happy. There will always be something they find fault with and it is never worth it (sales-wise $$) to put up with them. I have been burned too many times and have found that I need to protect myself and sometimes that means turning away sales.

It’s not fun to turn down money, but in the end the money never makes up for the headaches. This I have learned the hard way which is how most lessons go that we truly learn.

The customer did not respond well and sent me a nasty email in all caps (that’s screaming for those who aren’t aware which I can’t believe would be too many people these days). I wanted to reply to her, “It was a pleasure not doing business with you.” But I decided the best response was no response.

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{ 1 comment }

Dad Norton January 29, 2010 at 4:57 pm

We had a good article on this very thing in one of our AG magazines that gave a good formula for how to decide and when to decide to let a customer go. It was quite interesting. I had it filed away in one of my drawers but can not find it or I would give you a copy of it. It gave a list of questions to use to catagorize each customer and rank them on a scale that will show if they are keepers or if they are going to always cost you money to do business with them. Maybe I will be able to come accross it later on.

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