Monday, June 5, 2017

Save Your Sanity ~ Not Every Customer is Right for You!



We have all been there! 
No matter what we try, we just can't seem to please our client. 


No matter what we do, it isn't enough. They come up with last minute changes. Or try and move up the deadline. 

And then there are times, especially when our companies are new, when we think we have to do anything and everything to satisfy them and their demands.

After all, we are ingrained to believe that the customer is always right, aren't we?




But that is not always the case. There are times when your customers are wrong and, most importantly, simply wrong for you and your business! 

It can be tempting to take every client or customer that comes your way. But that way of thinking is not always good for your sanity or even smart for your business.

That is why it is important to recognize early on the types of clients that can cause us problems ~ and who we may be smart to avoid all together!


Avoid Clients Who:

Push You to Cut Corners or Rush You
When you start your business, you spend good time creating a sound plan of operations. You know how you are going to do things and how long it will take you. Your focus is on both value, time, and quality.

When a client expects you to alter that plan, it can cause problems. You may find your quality or your bottom line suffers.

That is when you have to take a hard look at what they are expecting and ask yourself a few questions. Is it possible? Will your quality suffer? Will it still allow you to meet your bottom line? 

If the answers to those questions are negative, then you may have to refrain from doing business with them. While meeting your client's reasonable demands is often in your best interest, agreeing to do anything that doesn't allow you to do your best work is not.   
It can damage your hard earned reputation and your company brand.


Try to Severely "Low Ball" You
Many owners find setting their prices to be one of the most difficult parts of starting a business. You are afraid they are too high or too low. You are even afraid of losing customers because of them.

But if you do it right, you will find a balance. You will land on prices that reflect your expertise, knowledge, and time. 

"You know you are providing a quality service, so make no apologies.  If you act with confidence, it will not be long before your clients believe in you too."; excerpt from "Find it Difficult Setting Your Prices? You are Not Alone"!

Check it out to find tips to help you set your prices!

So after all that hard work, when clients ask for discounts or downright "low ball" you, you need to think twice.

While it may be beneficial to offer volume discounts or package prices, getting into the habit of underestimating your worth won't serve you well in the long run. 

Give You a Bad "Vibe"
Sometimes you just "know". A potential client may ask you to cut corners or do things that are not in line with your ethics or your beliefs. That is when it is best to part ways before you even begin. 

Compromising your values is not worth it ~ no matter what the immediate financial gain. Your long-term reputation means more.



Despite your best efforts, you may find yourself saddled with a "less-than-desireable" customer. But it doesn't have to derail you. In fact, even though it may not seem so at the time, you can learn things from these difficult clients that will help you in the long run!

Remember, you have the right to choose who you want as a client. There is nothing that says you have to work with any person or company that comes your way, or stay working with them beyond your contract!

The more specific you are with your clients, the better off you will be. Misunderstandings are often the downfall of many client relationships, so being clear from the beginning is key.

Discover what you can learn from problem clients in "The Top 4 Lessons You can Learn from Difficult Clients"!

There is no doubt it is still smart to do what we can to keep our clients happy. Creating loyal and long-term customers should be our ultimate goal ~ and I have even written about the benefits in "What it really means to have Good Customer Service"!

But there are times we simply have to cut the chord. Being able to recognize potential problems from the outset, and learning from our inevitable mistakes, will go a long way towards getting and retaining the top quality clients we need.


And that is when we will have found success!


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