Firing Your Customer?

Have you ever had to ‘fire’ a customer? Most likely the answer is yes. You may not exactly call it ‘firing,’ but there comes a point when any business has to sever ties with some customers. Of course, you don’t want to let a profitable client go if losing that revenue could hurt your business. And no one is advocating firing clients just because they are demanding or you simply don’t like them. This situation demands objectivity.

Yes, breaking up may be hard to do, but when a client is costing you money or making you or your staff crazy, it can be a smart move. Severing unprofitable or exhausting relationships can, after the initial fallout, boost your company’s revenues. It’s a difficult decision to make, particularly during a tough economy.

Here are a few scenarios in which distributors have faced this tough choice. It may be time to fire a customer when the client:

-Makes unreasonable demands
-Does not pay bills after 120 days
-Only shops on price
-Tries to take advantage of the distributor on pricing
-Treats distributors staff disrespectfully
-Uses a product incorrectly and causes liability issues

To get the whole story about your clients, speak with your employees. Is dealing with a bad client’s behavior cutting into the time your staff should be spending with other customers? Have any employees considered leaving the company because of a difficult client? Has there been abusive behavior?

We’d love to hear how you deal with difficult clients!


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