You will always have 10% of your customers who are not profitable. No matter how much you think you need their business, they’re hurting your top-line and bottom-line. Save yourself some money and gain some time by firing them.
Whenever I mention this to people, they always freak out because they soon see how serious I am. There is not one salesperson who does not have a customer who needs to be fired, based on the lack of profit you’re making from them and/or the hassles they are causing you and your company. The most valuable asset in any company is time — the time the employees have. When it gets wasted doing activities that are not profitable, then it only results in one thing — the overall company being less profitable.
Challenge yourself on finding those customers who are not bringing profit to your company. Don’t settle for the belief that you can’t get rid of them because you don’t have any better customers to replace them with. That belief will get you in trouble very quickly, because no business can stay in business if it’s losing money. You might as well save a lot of time and simply stop doing any business and stare at yourself all day long doing nothing.
The point is this: By getting rid of customers that are not profitable, you will free up time and resources to go after better customers that have the potential to deliver to you real profits.
Easiest way I’ve found to fire a customer is to raise their prices. If they accept the price increase, then you’ll now make the money you need to turn the customer into a profitable one. If they don’t accept the price increase and leave, then you’ve achieved what you set out to do.
Each time I’ve worked with a salesperson or company to help them do this, I’ve been amazed at the positive impact it has had on the sales motivation. It will absolutely sky rocket. And in the end, the only effective salesperson is the one who has a high level of sales motivation.
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Could not agree with you more! I have been preaching about this and writing about this for years. You left out one important point. When you actually do fire a customer you’ll be positively amazed how they will almost BEG you not to fire them. Lesson learned: You’ve been providing them more value than you realized. You probably are doing the same for a lot of other customers and not charging for it. Great post and to the point.