What to Do When Your Customers Are Holding You Hostage

2008 November 6

Are you feeling like you’re in survival mode lately? You lose one customer – then maybe another is threatening? The next thing you know you’ve got this knot in your gut and you start questioning the foundation of your business.

This is natural.

Like children, your customers will push the boundaries of your relationship, and it’s up to you to be in charge of your destiny. But how? Here are some helpful hints that will keep you prepared when new business comes along or the old business threatens to depart.

  1. Know what you need to be profitable (the dollar amount). Don’t negotiate something that will suck your margins – you’ll be overcome with unprofitable work and keep profitable customers away.
  2. It’s never about price. The challenge is finding out why the customer is even considering you or finding out what in-tangible you offer that no one else does. Download the free worksheet and see if you come up with anything.
  3. Don’t be afraid to ask tough questions. If your customer is at risk it might be scary to even consider asking or bringing up the subject. Don’t. Be honest and diplomatic. Fear mostly comes from not knowing or having all the facts.

What are your strategies for keeping fleeing customers?

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4 Responses leave one →
  1. November 6, 2008

    It is absolutely true that it is never about the price. Good old Sandler Sales Training speaking. :-)

  2. November 6, 2008

    Firstly, I’d like to say that you have a very nice blog. :) Secondly, yes, I think when running a business it’s important to take care of yourself, financially, and you absolutely have to communicate honestly. If you can’t take a few negative comments, then you’re going to end up with misunderstandings. Obviously you should never be unprofessional, but you should always be honest.

  3. November 21, 2010

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