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.
If any of those 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. So in other words, it is a recipe for burnout and unhappiness that I avoid it at all costs. I highly recommend that you avoid them too!