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Old 08-23-2013, 10:27 AM
 
Location: Chicagoland
5,722 posts, read 9,134,103 times
Reputation: 6916

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Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
Where do you draw the line? When do you cut off a customer who is a liability?
When the incremental cost (financial, time, stress) of that customer is not worth the benefit (profit, residual business, referral) that I am receiving. Before it gets to that, I try to set clear, firm expectations and am also good at the "ignore" feature for some customers who like to vent. I have a few customers like that.
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Old 08-23-2013, 10:47 AM
 
Location: The Mid South
304 posts, read 420,414 times
Reputation: 236
Right now I have a "nice guy" customer, that always times his visit to 10 minutes before closing and then he wants to stay and talk for half an hour. Its very important to him to have my full undivided attention. I'm,just looking for the opportunity to say goodby.
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Old 08-23-2013, 11:00 AM
 
25,627 posts, read 32,305,306 times
Reputation: 23156
I have found that many times clients dont understand that they are becoming a drain on the business relationship. Most times I can communicate this issue through words and actions saving their business. Sometimes not and I will sever ties quickly even if it means costing me money in the short term.

One thing I will never put up with is abuse of my employees or me. Do that and your gone with a form letter from my attorney.
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Old 08-23-2013, 11:08 AM
 
Location: Area 51.5
13,893 posts, read 12,134,890 times
Reputation: 9118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Butterfly4u View Post
Harry,
I "fired" customers who COST ME MONEY.
If I wasn't loosing money, and the level of nonsense was brief, even if
they were repeat customers, I tolerated them.
As soon as they COST me money, I fired them.
I worked too hard to loose money, so technically, they weren't customers
at all if they cost me money, right?
Goodness, I do hope you mean "losing" and "lose". Loose is a whole different meaning.

lol

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fortoggie View Post
Right now I have a "nice guy" customer, that always times his visit to 10 minutes before closing and then he wants to stay and talk for half an hour. Its very important to him to have my full undivided attention. I'm,just looking for the opportunity to say goodby.
Tell him any consultation/visits after closing are $250/hour, 1 hour minimum.
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Old 08-23-2013, 11:09 AM
 
Location: DFW
6,842 posts, read 12,575,267 times
Reputation: 5264
I rent out my spare car on Relayrides.. although I don't explicitly fire customers, I can choose the ones I'll rent my car to. I generally prefer those who rent 1-2 weeks at a time.. if the rental is too short, it takes too much time away from me (due to the overhead of cleaning, washing, and handing off the keys.)

If the rental period is too long, there's a greater chance of problems happening to the car due to it missing its maintenance schedule.
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Old 08-23-2013, 11:20 AM
 
6,540 posts, read 7,520,739 times
Reputation: 17087
Sometimes you just know when the fit isn't 'right'. In addition to the issues of time, money, excess demands, and the failure of the customer to make the proper effort, there is that intangible of 'we are just not right for one another'. Maybe I am more free-wheeling, and you are the academic type. Whatever, sometimes you just have to say good bye.

Do it gently, with "it just isn't a good fit, or I just have to refocus my effort towards (something which is away from what THIS customer wants/needs), or as suggested, I am so engulfed in a couple of big projects it is just not fair to string you along".

There is someone out there for everyone; and some of the new guys coming along are desperate for ANY business, or have a fee scale which is more accommodating for certain customers. Why don't you go see so and so.....I'll even call him if you like. (I like to do that...warn them, but not make the decision as to whether they will take the client on--that is theirs to choose).
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Old 08-27-2013, 07:46 AM
 
12,170 posts, read 14,127,953 times
Reputation: 17997
I recently heard a story from a competitor regarding a potential celebrity client. Job paid $16,000 a month and he declined to bid. I asked why? He said if someone owes you a month or two you don't sweat about it, but if someone owes you 16-32K and has a history of fighting with employees (suing, counter-suing) then why get involved? He interviewed, took the tour and declined to bid. I thought it was a goldmine from the numbers standpoint but if you look at the big picture it is less of a goldmine (not getting paid).

I recently fired a client for hiring another vendor (competitor) to do a job that we never even were asked to bid on. He complained that we would be more expensive, my response "How do you know that if we never gave you a price?" He got taken on a very elaborate repair when there was a much simpler fix (20-25% of what he paid). Silver lining: We cancelled service on a nearby client since they were somewhat of a paired job, didn't want to stop for one client. She called back and offered a 30% raise in rates in order to stay on.........So we are doing 1/2 the work, making more money than before!
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Old 08-28-2013, 01:52 PM
 
28,900 posts, read 48,723,636 times
Reputation: 46238
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaseMan View Post
Hehe... I bet " Al Smith" isn't your favorite guy.
Well, there are times when a client just isn't a right fit for me. And those other guys like Al Smith might actually be grateful for the work I'm referring to them.
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Old 08-28-2013, 01:57 PM
 
3,083 posts, read 4,892,829 times
Reputation: 3524
I'm not in a position to fire customers, because I'm a lowly employee that supports them. However, I wish our company's management had the same mentality as some of you.

We put up with so much BS from the clients for the almighty dollar. Whether it's whining about invoices, or not moving fast enough on a project for them, there's always something with a particular few. And I few like we end up losing productivity and cutting into margins due to their requests.
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Old 08-28-2013, 02:44 PM
 
Location: All Over
4,004 posts, read 5,012,105 times
Reputation: 3104
I have some customers who are very difficult, not bad or mean just do a very small amount of business but require so much hand hodling it's not even worth the money.

Alot of my biz is conducted on ebay, I like the feature where you can block ebay members from buying your stuf. If people open are messaging me within 2 minutes of ordering asking where there item is that's the last time they will buy from me. If people open up claims prior to talking to me that's the last time they will buy from me. Normally it's confusion on their part yet they run to open claims up before even talking to me.
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