4 Reasons When and How to Fire a Customer

by Barry Moltz on November 13, 2009

firedIt’s a myth that you need to keep every last customer. Some customer hold you back. You don’t need to be treated badly by your customers. Some deserved to be fired. They are hurting your business and you are unhappy.

But when do you do it?

 1. You are no longer helping them the customer is disregarding your advice
2. The customer is not willing or able to pay a price that you can live with to make a profit
3. The customer has asked us to do something illegal or unethical
4. The customer has behaved inappropriately toward us or one of our employees

How to fire your customer:

1. Identify a series of prospects that can replace the problem customer
2. Begin to phase the “fired” customer out of your business as you get these additional clients
3. Show the problem clients other “options for their needs”
4. Set an internal date at which you will no longer be doing business with the problem customer

Have you ever fired a customer? How did you do it?

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Zach Ferres November 13, 2009 at 4:36 pm

Hey Barry, great post. I haven’t had to do this yet but I do have some customers that have been around since day one that are violating problem (2).

Is it always right to jump straight to “fire” them or should the situation be openly explained to them first?

Barry Moltz November 13, 2009 at 4:43 pm

I would try to coach them to see if you can “turn them” It happens rarely but can be done!

Nikki Scaplen November 14, 2009 at 9:29 am

I agree with Barry – at the point where the client has been a serious offender on any of the items, 1-4, it’s time to take action. You can spend time (= money) on re-educating or turning them, but as with most people, it’s typically a lost cause.

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