Have you ever had a customer that drove you absolutely nuts—and, even worse, they didn’t even make you much money? If so, you’re not alone.
So often in sales, the worst customers are also the ones who are late to pay their bills, or they beat you down on price, or they’re just not profitable in the first place. That’s why it’s critical that you become more selective about who you work with.
One common trait shared by top-performing sales reps is that they know when it’s time to fire a customer. They only spend their time with ideal customers and prospects. They walk away from everyone else.
In this video, I’m going to show you exactly when and how to fire a customer. Check it out:
Fire a Customer Tip #1: All customers must bring value to you, too.
For years now, everyone in sales has been saying, “Salespeople must bring value to their customers and prospects.” But wait a minute. What about you? Don’t you deserve value, too? Absolutely.
Every single one of your customers must bring value to you if they want to stick around. If you have a customer or prospect—or even a long-term client—who’s difficult and not bringing value to the table (maybe you’re actually losing money on them), then you must move on.
You’re going to waste more time, effort, and energy on those clients than they’re worth. Don’t suffer for nothing. Bad customers bring us all down. They hurt companies, and they hurt individual salespeople.
You deserve better. Every single one of your customers must bring value to you. You’ll know it’s time to fire a customer if they don’t bring you value.
Tip #2: Focus on the people that make you money.
This is a critical mantra of every top salesperson I’ve ever known. The best salespeople only go after prospects that will make them the most money.
I was talking to a client in the finance industry the other day, and he told me that for years he used to sell to anyone with a pocketbook. Then he decided one day that he was only going to focus on the people that really made him money. Suddenly, he had so much more time to actually service the people that mattered most. He had more energy to focus on growing his business with people he can help effectively—and those are the same people who are going to make him more money.
So only focus on the people that actually make you money. You need to fire a customer if they don’t make you money, plain and simple. Only focus on those top prospects.
Fire a Customer Tip #3: If they don’t make you meaningful money, move on now.
This is similar to the last tip, but it’s really important in terms of prospecting. You must only prospect to those that will make you a meaningful amount of money.
If you’re prospecting to anyone who has a pulse, you’re in trouble. Only deal with people that are really going to make money for you. If someone doesn’t make you meaningful money, it’s time to fire that customer or move on from that prospect right away.
You don’t have to be a jerk about —just move on.
When (and How) to Fire a Customer Tip #4: If they suck up all of your time, move on.
Your most valuable resource in sales is your time. Your time is all you have—and one day, it’s going to run out.
If you have customers or prospects that are sucking up all of your time, chances are they’re not offering you a lot of value. You need to move on. It’s not worth it. Be strong.
Have confidence in yourself, in your value and your own self-worth. If you have a customer that’s taking up all of your time and preventing you from actually doing what you have to do to prospect to close more deals, then you know you have to fire a customer.
Now, you don’t have to rudely tell them to go take a hike; you can simply pass them off to someone else. But you do not want to be dealing with them yourself.
When to Fire a Customer Tip #5: Pass them off to someone else, nicely…
As I mentioned in the last tip, you should try to pass your bad customers off to someone else. If someone is not a fit for any reason, simply refer them to someone else in your company or in another company. The person that you’re referring them to, particularly if they’re just getting started, will be really grateful to have a difficult customer—because they don’t have any customers.
Being willing to pass them off by saying, “You know what, George? I get the feeling that I’m probably not going to be the best fit for you. I’m not getting the sense that I’m going to be able to serve you or bring a lot of value to you. What I’d like to do is actually introduce you to someone else who I think could be a better fit.”
Everyone’s going to be psyched; you sound like a hero; you’ve just saved yourself a lot of time; you’ve cleaned your hands; you’re fired a customer; you’ve moved on.
So there you have it. Now you know when and how to fire a customer.