By Linda Forshaw
The customer is always right. Blah, blah, blah, whatever. Along with shoulder pads, acid wash jeans and some seriously dodgy tunes, that crock of shit mantra was last valid in the 80s. Life has moved on. No longer do we need to cling desperately to a customer that we’d honestly prefer to cheerfully strangle with the nearest shoelace. The simple answer is to move on. Toss them aside like yesterday’s newspaper. Kick them to the curb like… Okay, you get it.
Three Indicators That It’s Time to Say Farewell
1. Your customer is eating up too much of your time. Needy clients can very quickly turn unprofitable if you’re spending all day on crazy demands instead of making money. The good news is that unless you are relying on that customer’s business to feed your kids, you can safely get rid of them. If you can’t spend one more minute with the client regardless of your kid’s hunger levels, why not let your kids grow their own food for a bit? It will teach them about nature.
2. They treat you like a dog. Have you got a tail? Can you lick yourself where it counts? If you answered no to both of those questions, it’s fairly safe to assume you’re not a dog. In order to maintain a healthy working relationship, there needs to be mutual respect; if you can’t get to that point, you should be looking to remove the client from the equation. By the way, if you answered yes to question number 2, you’re one lucky bastard who should probably be working in another industry, say, in the San Fernando Valley.
3. You’ve slept with your customer’s wife. Make no mistake, if you’re taking a man’s money, you should not bed his wife. Time to move on stat. Leave the wife behind, unless she’s really hot. In which case, leave the country.
You might have daydreams about going all Donald Trump on your rogue client and jabbing your finger in their face while gleefully shouting, “You’re fired.” You may just want to unceremoniously kick them out of them of your office. As satisfying as both of those scenarios might be, it might be worth biting your tongue and attempting to extract yourself from the situation with your reputation intact.
Three Ways to Say Farewell Gracefully
1. Buy supplies. Lock the door. Bolt it from the inside. Unplug the phone. Oh wait, that’s not graceful. In fact, it’s nothing short of cowardly. Let’s start again.
Two Ways to Say Farewell Gracefully
1. Even though there may be a multitude of reasons why you never want to see this particular client ever again so long as you live, it’s better to just focus on one reason. There’s no reason to make the guy feel bad, right? Do it nicely and there is less chance of him badmouthing you.
2. Suggest your competitor is a better fit for their needs. Hey, all’s fair in love and business, or is that war? Whatever; if they’re dragging you down, show them the door…. gracefully.
Once you’ve done that, take a few deep breaths, pick up the phone, call one of your favorite customers to let them know you are now even more focused on their needs. Rinse and repeat as required until you’ve got rid of all the dead wood holding you and your business back.