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Practice Management > Building Your Business

Knowing when to say "no" to bad clients

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Don’t miss Hal Becker at the 2010 Senior Market Advisor Expo in Las Vegas. Register today and attend Hal Becker’s closing keynote speech, “Attract New Clients and Keep the Clients You Have!”

Most of your customers are a joy to work with. But every business–advisor, restaurant, car dealership, you name it–has 1 percent to 3 percent of its customer base that are just a pain in the neck. They’re abusive, mean, rude and always demanding unrealistic expectations. These are the customers who also take up most of your time and can make the day an unpleasant experience.

What can you do to change the situation? Occasionally, it’s time to do a “client cleansing” – and that can actually be a morale builder for you and your support staff, who are probably equally sick of spending their time placating the problem customers. You can even consider it a team-building exercise. Business should be fun; look at “circulating” your clients as an event or a way to make your business better and more productive.

Rules to say goodbye to a client

  • Get all the facts and figures and look at the empirical data.
  • Get senior management involved to get a better and stronger consensus.
  • Do not let your emotion in the situation play a role. Rely on logic.
  • Have fun doing this and look at the positives and not the negatives.
  • Make sure that you have the new business in hand to replace this present customer.

Hal Becker is a nationally known speaker on Sales and Customer Service. He is the author of two best selling books, “Can I Have 5 Minutes Of Your Time?” and “Lip Service.”