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Firing Customers / Walking Away From Bad Deals!

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Old March 27th, 2012, 09:13 AM   #1 (permalink)
californiadreamin californiadreamin is offline
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Default Firing Customers / Walking Away From Bad Deals!

I have become convinced, that it is a good practice to look at your customers,
and say, am I better off having this customer, or is it a better idea to fire
them, and be happy,happy,happy when they go to your competition? I come
from the school of WIT (whatever it takes), but even I get a certain enjoyment in walking away from potential customers who for whatever reason
just don't make the fit. As in gardening, in order to have a healthy plant,
some pruning is sometimes in order! Some customers, no matter how hard
you try, just don't get it, and would be content to have you go down in misery
with them for sport! We all have only 24 hrs a day,so it is very wise to use
them well, and not waste them on trivial situations!

winston
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Old March 27th, 2012, 09:32 AM   #2 (permalink)
GraphixOutlet GraphixOutlet is offline
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Default Re: Firing Customers / Walking Away From Bad Deals!

i have felt this way many times.. it would be easy to tell your problem customers that you just cant do their work and to go somewhere else. but thats what makes a challenge so exciting. word of mouth is the best advertisement anyone could ever have. its easy and free! but when you have a customer telling people that you turned them away, it then becomes negative word of mouth and it starts working against you. but i know exactly where you're comming from .. just hang in there. the best plants are those who are able to adapt to their enviroment.
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Old March 27th, 2012, 09:44 AM   #3 (permalink)
californiadreamin californiadreamin is offline
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Default Re: Firing Customers / Walking Away From Bad Deals!

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Originally Posted by GraphixOutlet View Post
i have felt this way many times.. it would be easy to tell your problem customers that you just cant do their work and to go somewhere else. but thats what makes a challenge so exciting. word of mouth is the best advertisement anyone could ever have. its easy and free! but when you have a customer telling people that you turned them away, it then becomes negative word of mouth and it starts working against you. but i know exactly where you're comming from .. just hang in there. the best plants are those who are able to adapt to their enviroment.
I totally agree that word of mouth is so important!
That is why Integrity, Honesty, And Doing What We Say is of most importance!
Negative word of mouth is very bad for ones business! Is this negative
word an isolated case or cases? Or does concensus say that it is one's
chosen patern of life? VERY IMPORTANT!!!
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Old March 27th, 2012, 10:01 AM   #4 (permalink)
GraphixOutlet GraphixOutlet is offline
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Default Re: Firing Customers / Walking Away From Bad Deals!

just try to adapt to customers needs. there were alot of things that our customers asked for and at first we thought "yeah theres no way" but we made it work we ended up keeping our customer. now they give us easy jobs and their harder jobs dont seem as hard anymore because we have done them before so its just second nature. now we are able to do so many special effects and crazy out of the box things and we have more to offer our customers than our competitors. basically, if they can get everything they need from us, along with a fast turn around, what would be their need for going to our competitors? the last thing i want to do is to say that we are incapable of doing what they need and then in result, they go down the street and tell our competitors that we were unable to do something for them. it makes us look bad and lets our competitors know our weaknesses.
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Old March 27th, 2012, 10:11 AM   #5 (permalink)
CounterPoint CounterPoint is offline
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Default Re: Firing Customers / Walking Away From Bad Deals!

Your toughest customers make your company better prepared

Remember if you have the opportunity to pleas the bad customers, just imagine how happy you will make the good ones
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Old March 28th, 2012, 01:46 PM   #6 (permalink)
Flint54 Flint54 is offline
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Default Re: Firing Customers / Walking Away From Bad Deals!

Sometimes it is in your best interest to attempt to educate your fringe customers. Once you layout the the information, abilities, problems etc. to them, let them make the decision. We have had customers that wanted their embroidery to look like the print they gave us. We had to sit them down, show them where the problems were and why they could not have it "Their Way". Doing this in a professional manner but still being firm changed most of them to what could actually be completed. Gave us an increase in a positive reputation and customers. Unfortunately a few were sent elsewhere, 75% of them returned and a few even apologized.

Sometimes you can't sugar coat the process!! If they don't like it, "So Sorry".
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Old March 28th, 2012, 03:03 PM   #7 (permalink)
vicb vicb is offline
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Default Re: Firing Customers / Walking Away From Bad Deals!

Quote:
Originally Posted by californiadreamin View Post
I have become convinced, that it is a good practice to look at your customers,
and say, am I better off having this customer, or is it a better idea to fire
them, and be happy,happy,happy when they go to your competition? I come
from the school of WIT (whatever it takes), but even I get a certain enjoyment in walking away from potential customers who for whatever reason
just don't make the fit. As in gardening, in order to have a healthy plant,
some pruning is sometimes in order! Some customers, no matter how hard
you try, just don't get it, and would be content to have you go down in misery
with them for sport! We all have only 24 hrs a day,so it is very wise to use
them well, and not waste them on trivial situations!

winston
That's why most of those customers have been through 8 different screenprinters. Fire them and move on.
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Old March 28th, 2012, 03:44 PM   #8 (permalink)
Printwizard Printwizard is offline
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Default Re: Firing Customers / Walking Away From Bad Deals!

After fifteen years of the customer is always right, working to their requirements and bending over for them we changed to account management. We now manage the accounts, they don't manage us. We manage leadtimes and production, how and what we print, when etc. everything is by our rules. We now make way more money where we used to just pay wages. Also the policy is to sack 5% of our customers every year to make room for better ones. Some of them change. Even things like rudeness are not tolerated, and it helps our staff culture as well, right the way through. I learned this policy from a large signage company and one of the best things we ever brought on board and turned us around. In all honesty the five percent we sack, we have instant reform from 1/5 of them to how and why or what, some of that can be price, loyalty or other values to make them worthwhile, and 1/5 go somewhere else and are back within four months to make our criteria or standards, while the rest we never see or hear again, and we don't miss them. The bottom line and sales is filled because we have quicker leadtimes. We get 90% or more of our work by referral and word of mouth. In the last year we have had two quiet weeks which were catchup cleaning and paperwork only, and in June we will sack some more clients again, our eighth year with this policy, although maybe fewer this time around.
Last year we sacked one LARGE organization, they had a $100k plus spend with good margin, but left everything so late that when we had approval every job had to be run 24 hours nonstop and got to the event within hours of it starting, after sacking them we got to raise the prices AND a culture change in terms of organisation, we don't loose the account, but it was the only way to change their culture to work for us after five years of stress.
I suggest do it. The benefit outweighs any small loss of sales. Actual loss of sales is so minimal I have never noticed it because any production capacity is filled because someone has an urgent need and you will be able to turnover quickly and gain a new customer on that service capacity.
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