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The Customer Focus Series – Part 7

Posted by Amy Lynch on July 20, 2023

Head trouble off at the pass.

Short post today. I just want to answer one question. Exactly what should you say when you don’t want to do business with someone?

This is difficult. As we’ve been talking about the customer focus, I’ve said that most people are nice and pleasant to work with. Not all. To make customers happy, we say what we are going to do and then we do it in a friendly way. Then, if the customer is pleased, we’ll do business with them for the rest of our lives.

As my Dad used to say…. “Head them off at the pass if you can!”

Occasionally, a customer might do unconventional things like force us to use the paint they bought at a big box store. Sometimes they are unwilling to accept us as expert professionals, constantly questioning our procedures. Or they may just sound like a disagreeable person. In that case, we will try to notice this in the initial meeting. If we see that a customer is unreasonable and will be very problematic, we will avoid doing business with them by saying in a friendly way, “After careful consideration, we have decided to pass on your opportunity. Thank you.”

We don’t say any more than that.

If we fail to catch a customer’s dissonance, we start on their project, finish it with a smile, and get paid. Then, we immediately put a star before their name in our database and vow never to do business with them again.

After many years of doing business, I have learned that it just isn’t worth it to work with customers who are extremely difficult.

Saying ‘no’ is a muscle, too.

See you next week. Build muscle.

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