However, today I was contacted by a friend and fellow marketer that is having a problem with a “bully” customer. As a result, I am revisiting this topic again for several reasons. I hope this helps to keep this article and video in perspective for you.
Remember the 80/20 rule!
Not everyone will be your ideal customer. And generally speaking, about 20% of your customers will cause 80% of your headaches. They will take up about 80% of your time, they will sap about 80% of your energy and they will drain about 80% of your happiness. So that is when I know it’s time for my agency to move on.
However, in this case, my friend was dealing with a bully that pushed her around at every opportunity. “Bully” wanted things her way all the time, despite the fact that she didn’t have the first clue about marketing. And to make matters worse, the bully only dealt with my friend through a third person, who also had zero knowledge of marketing.
It was a bad business situation for my marketing friend and it was only getting worse for her.
Here are a few generalized recommendations I shared with my friend, that may be of some help to you too:
First, remember that they contacted you as a subject matter expert. So never back down from that position.
Always deal directly with the decision-maker(s), not intermediaries. How can someone with no knowledge of your expertise ever do as good a job as you answering questions?
Another reason to deal directly with the decision-maker(s) is having a clear understanding of what they want you to do. Again an intermediary does not have all of the information that you will need to best serve the customer.
In summary: When To Fire A Customer Revisited
If any of those above three conditions are not met, I politely and professionally decline their business. Even if I had to start all over again, I know from experience that these situations simply leech all of your passion. It’s a bad situation and it’ll only get worse over time.
In conclusion, it’s a recipe for burnout and unhappiness that I avoid it at all costs. All the money in the world doesn’t make you happy, if that were the case, a lot of us would still have jobs. So I highly recommend that you avoid asshole customers too!
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Charles is the owner of C. E. Snyder Marketing LLC. His background includes 30+ years in the fire service. Since 1999, he has also become a published author and a public speaker from 2004 on. He is widely respected as the “go-to” guy for Digital Marketing, websites, and SEO, recently being recognized with the 2020 Best of Lancaster in Digital Marketing Award.
Charles is also known as “The Marketing Ninja” and is a serial entrepreneur. His favorite quote is “Make Stuff Happen!” Also, his personal interests include spending time with Ann, his fiancee, playing the occasional video game, and growing mutant eyebrow hairs since getting on the wrong side of 50 years old.