Everyone has that customer that is a late payer, nasty and/or a time waster that they wished they could fire. In previous posts, I have discussed how to deal with difficult customers, sociopaths and how to get customers to pay on time. However, there are some customers that need to be fired. The question is how to determine which customers to fire. As Dr. Tony Alessandra puts it, the good, the bad and the ugly. He goes on to describe how companies rank their customers and fire the bottom level of customers. You want to keep the good, try to convert the bad into the good group and fire the ugly.
But how do you determine which customers need to be fired? During my time in outside sales, I was faced with this very dilemma. I had the slow payer, the nasty customer, the customer who always ordered something and returned it. To properly assess which customers to give the ax to, you need to determine how much business they provide you with and how much of your time they take up. As a Sales Rep, or Business owner, time is money. You want to spend most of your time with your good clients, try to improve the relationship with the bad customers and fire the worst customers or the ugly ones. Once you have this list, you want to get to work on firing the worst customers by removing discounts and giving priority to your better customers. I always asked my good customers if they had colleagues who might need my services. However, I would wait until I have them delivered value with my products and services before asking for referrals.
By focusing on the best customers, improving your relationship with the bad customers and firing the the worst or ugly customers; your sales will increase dramatically. My numbers improved a lot when I used this method.
How has firing your worst customers increased your sales?