Two words that no one wants to hear: “You’re fired.” Two words made famous during the running of ‘The Apprentice’ on television. Two words that some in the United States would like to say to the current President. It has in all likelihood happened to you if, you have been in this game as long as I have. It certainly has happened to me. That will be another blog for another time. However, did you know that as a sales person you can ‘fire’ your client?
Yes, it is possible to ‘fire’ a client. As long as the reasons are sound and just. There are obviously many reasons and this action, ‘firing’ them, should be the last resort after all attempts to salvage the relationship have failed.
One of the first steps that one must undertake is to find the part you have taken in the situation. In other words, how are you responsible for the situation getting to this point? Once this process is done and it’s clear that it is not you, it’s them, then the best move is to let them go.
Some of the reasons you may want to ‘fire’ your customer are:
1. Costs you more to keep them: These are the customers that continually take up your time for no reason at all. They want to go for coffee or lunch because they are lonely and need someone to talk to. They never want to discuss any business and when you bring up a new offer and clearly show how it would benefit them, they continually say no. They refuse to move from the past and into the future no matter how many times you show them that it is not in their best interest.
2. They make unreasonable demands: From time to time, and perfectly reasonable, they may have a rush order or something unforeseen has happened that requires some extra attention on your part. However, if instead of from ‘time to time’ as mentioned above, it becomes every time, then there is a problem. The easiest way to know if you have an unreasonable customer is in the appreciation, gratitude and thanks that you get from them for doing the unreasonable. If there is none, it may be time to let them go.
3. They become abusive to others in your organization: There should be no exception from this transgression. These are the customers who are all smiles to you, but treat the employees and the support staff that you have to rely on so much, like dirt. This would create a negative deliverance of work from the employee, which in the long run affects your reputation. Are you willing to take that risk? I have fired customers for this and would do so again. Protect your staff at all times.
It’s not a big list, but there are other reasons. The above is to just give you pause and to make you think if you are holding onto some customers that you should not be. Think about it this way; would they have any trouble ‘firing’ you by going to your competition?
Customers have rights, as they should, but don’t forget that you also have rights.