Lets be honest with each other.
We all have nightmare clients that demand too much, are rude and generally a real pain to deal with – but have you actually calculated how much these clients cost your business?
We did and found out that some of our most annoying clients were costing us more than what we earned from them.
Tim Ferris strongly suggested in his book “The 4 Hour Work Week” to fire any client that is making you and your staff life’s a living hell.
I completely agree with him.
You may not even realize that a rude and abrasive client can not only upset your staff but also cost your business in real dollar terms.
Like most businesses, on the whole, our clients are very happy with our services and our staff. Most clients are happy to provide references to that fact.
It is unusual for our sales team to sign-on a client that causes us issues but we do from time-to-time.
There are of course a few warning signs that a client will be a nightmare – some signs are:
- Not returning calls or emails regarding payment or support queries.
- Try to dictate how they deal with your business and ignore the rules and processes you have in place to make your business efficient so you can provide a quality product/service.
- They have a demanding tone or sarcastic demeanor.
- They use CAPS when TALKING TO YOU and DEMAND that you FIX something NOW!!!!!!
- They refuse to pay for services that you provided in good faith.
- They are never satisfied with your efforts to keep them happy.
You need to ask yourself if this client is adding value to your business or reducing it. If the cost of supporting this client is more than the dollars you get from the client then fire the client!
If you cannot let go because you are scared the client will start spreading negative comments comfort yourself in knowing that clients of this type have already been bagging you even when you were trying to keep them happy – its who they are – nothing to do with you.
I can promise you that after a couple of days after firing a client you will start to regain your happiness and move on and focus on the clients that think you are the best.
Of course on the flip side – if you have more complaining clients than happy ones then you should look at your offerings and service to see if there is something you need to improve.
At the end of the day you started your own business to improve your lifestyle and be in control. Having a client that causes you and your staff stress and money is really taking you back to the days of employment when you had no real control.
Is that where you want to be?