You are happily going about your day, life is good, business is good and then IT happens. Your phone rings you look down to see who is calling, “Oh no it is them again, the last person I want to talk to right now I wonder what they are going to complain about this time?” Its that client, you know the one, always complaining about something, the Toxic Client. Why do I call them a Toxic Client? Because they are toxic to you, your business, your staff, and your mindset. They can even be toxic to your other clients.
They want a bigger discount, they think you messed up their order, your delivery was late, it’s the wrong size, color, shape, design, the list goes on and on. If you are a business owner I am sure you have had calls like this, or your staff gets the call. Then there is the customer that waits 60, 90, or even 180 days to pay your invoice no matter how often you call them. We had a major corporation that held our payables for 180 days regularly and even offered to pay sooner if were lowered our invoice by 30%. That client is always wanting a cheaper price for every service that you provide. That client that no matter what your service department does they are never satisfied. There is a name for these people they are Toxic Clients
In fact, this is such a common problem in business there is an entire book devoted to describing them and the problems they create called “Toxic Client” written by Garrett Sutton, it is available in Amazon.
Real Life Toxic Client
A client of mine has been dealing with a Toxic Client lately. Every time my client updates the website or posts to their social media using the material supplied the client. That client calls and wants changes made, posts added to, something entirely different. This has my client is spending extra time dealing with this client every week.
She asked me what can I do about this? How can I fix this so I am not working for free?
My answer “Fire THEM”!
What, no I can’t do that they are a good client, they pay every month on time, they are nice and I want to help them.
I asked her how many other clients could you serve in the extra time given to this client
After hesitating, she answered probably 2 maybe 3 more.
My response “So are they really a good client?”
No, I guess, not was her answer.
We all have or had clients that were toxic so what do we do about it?
Top 3 Tips
Here are 3 tips
- Be honest with yourself: Is this client worth all the headaches and heartbreaks, the stress and the lost time and lost employees that they cost you.
- Have clear policies on how you treat clients and how you allow them to treat you,
- Be willing to fire them at the first sign of trouble, the first time they yell at your receptionist, the first unpaid invoice. Be ready to fire them the first time they break one of your rules and be willing to go to small claims court to get your money.
Those are 3 tips you can use for your business tomorrow. Take a good hard look at your client list and evaluate them. If you are honest 80% of your revenue comes from 20% of your clients. Also, 80% of your headaches come from 20% of your clients
Be kind to yourself and fire the Toxic Client.
The book I mention “Toxic Client” was written by Rich Dad Advisor Garrett Sutton and is available on Amazon.