Some customers just aren’t worth the headache.
Sam kept me waiting for 30 minutes. When we finally met, he was anything but pleasant. I should have trusted my gut and walked away. But I didn’t. I’m a pro. I can deal with anyone. Or at least that’s what I was thinking. However, when he demanded a proposal by 9:00 the next morning, I was out of there.
What a relief! If I had worked with Sam, he would have driven me crazy. He would have been a PITA customer. Yes, a “pain in the ass.”
Bad Customers Cost Big Bucks
Working with PITA clients isn’t just an unpleasant experience; it’s an opportunity cost. PITA clients push you to cut your price. Once you do, you’ve locked yourself into a downward spiral. It’s like one of those rides at Disneyland where you go round and round and think you will either lose what’s in your stomach or your head will spin off—and you really don’t care which happens first.
But wait, there’s more:
- You’ll be nickel-and-dimed and then expected to deliver additional services—quickly and at no charge.
- They’ll challenge your expertise and question you on every move.
- Your resources (and energy) will be drained.
- Your team will consider mutiny, but be too exhausted, frustrated, and demoralized to follow through with it.
- Your profit margins will be squeezed.
- PITAs hang out with other PITAs, so their referrals will be to other demanding, stingy people.
Worst of all, PITA clients waste time, energy, and creativity that would be better spent serving your Ideal Clients—the ones who are a pleasure to work with, give you what you need to help them grow their businesses, spend lots of money, and then offer referrals to other great clients.
Stop Doing This to Yourself
You can radically improve your sales effectiveness (and job satisfaction) by getting rid of clients who drain you, your organization, and your profits. You know who they are before you even work with them. So why do you still take bad business?
Because you have a quota. So you tell yourself:
- This one is a big fish. If I do the deal, I’ll go to the President’s Club. (You’re already picturing where you’ll spend the hefty bonus you’ll receive.)
- My company insists I do the deal, so I should just stay quiet about my concerns.
- My company wants this new logo for the website and case studies.
- The client will be someone else’s problem once the deal is done.
If you think you can turn a bad situation into a good one, you’re dreaming. Bad business is bad business. Period.
So fire the PITA! Say NO. It’s OK to walk away—for the sake of your sanity, your team’s morale, and all the Ideal Clients you’ll have time to serve when you’re not tied up with PITAs.