Entrepreneurs are busy. Our days are filled with appointments, tasks, meetings, and ideally things that grow our business and help it to flourish. A key part of our time is spent engaging with and serving our customers. In a business relationship, we discover and evaluate our customer’s needs, then serve the heck out of them. By meeting and exceeding expectations, we will have repeat and referring customers. Here is one problem: There are 5% of people that we will never be able to make or keep happy. Their needs are unrealistic or they are just plain not nice people to be around and work with. I see too many entrepreneurs spend mountains of time trying to be the first person on the planet to make a customer like this happy with no success.
I have been in this situation many times, and here is the best piece of advice and experience I have. Walk away. The sooner the better. These people take 20 times more time than any other customer and will never be happy. They are time and energy suckers, and they take you away from being able to help and serve customers that you can actually make happy and that will refer you.
Many business owners ask how to cut the ties and part the relationship, and here is another thing I have learned. No matter how you do it or what you say, they will not be happy about it. Remember, they are never happy anyway. So do whatever lets you know that you did the right thing, end the relationship, and then let them be mad. Here are a few things to try out:
• I don’t feel we are going to be able to meet your expectations, you may try calling ___________.
• I am going to pass on this one, but I appreciate you and the opportunity.
• Thanks, but no thanks.
Remember, you should have just as much right to choose your customers as they have to choose you as a company. Many entrepreneurs forget this right. If a customer is not as honored to work with you as you are to serve them, which can be the start of a frustrating relationship. Business is a two way street, so never take your car the wrong way down a one way street that will eventually leave you crashed into a wall.