I hate break the news to you, but there are a lot of customers with whom you don’t want to do business. Even more concerning is that there are customers you don’t want, but with whom you are indeed currently doing business.

Here’s the cold hard facts: These customers are either too demanding in their expectations or too demanding in the pricing/service they expect. Either way, they’re customers you can’t afford to have.  It might seem counter intuitive to get rid of customers when it can be so hard to get customers in the first place, but that’s what I’m telling you. The extremely difficult customers will drain your sales motivation, sabotage your sales goals and destroy your profit.

The most valuable resource you have is time. It is more valuable than what you sell and more valuable than the money you expect to make. If time is so valuable for you and everyone else in your company, then you have to ask yourself  if a customer is taking too much time compared to the profit they’re contributing.  Plain and simple, that right there sums it up.  What profit are they contributing?

I’ll bet you the over-demanding customer is not contributing any profit at all. In fact, these types of customers are likely preventing you from devoting yourself to the customers that could make a difference.  During the sales process and before the prospect becomes a customer, you need to be monitoring the prospect’s expectations and how you can fulfill them profitably.  If you can’t do it profitably, run the other way. Steer clear of customers who will end up being liabilities.

To implement this successfully, you the salesperson must do this in cooperation with your sales manager or another colleague who will help you validate (or negate) your assumptions. You need to develop decisions with which you can live without regret.  Walking away from a prospect who is about to be a customer can be nerve-wracking, but you’ll be doing yourself and everyone else in your company a favor to recognize it early, rather than waiting until the prospect turns into a costly customer.

As for getting rid of existing bad customers, the plan is not complicated.  Raise their prices.  That way, if they decide to remain a customer, your compensation will be better.  If they decide to leave, you’ll be rid of the drain they are on your time and profit.

Are there customers you don’t want?  Do a little evaluation and decide for yourself.

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