How to Fire the Nightmare Client

ALLIGATOR_0-tnThe customer is always right?
Maybe not.

If you have ever had an annoying, troublesome, impossible-to-please client, you are not alone.

Has This Happened to You?

It was not easy.

You worked long and hard to win this large account. At first you were happy with your success.

But it turned into a nightmare.

You delivered as promised. You delivered what they said they wanted.

You provided top-quality products – fast – and world- class service.

But the client turned out to be impossible to work with.

And they were always late paying their bills.

What do you do if this customer provides a large part of your revenue?

Is it Worth the Cost to You?

Your stomach is in knots every time you have to deal with this client.

Their treatment of you and your company is almost abusive.

Is this account worth the grief they cause you?

One company in Pennsylvania decided that life was too short to suffer with an abusive client.

Employee morale was suffering. “It is very important that employees not be abused by clients,” said this business owner.

Diplomacy is Critical

One way to make sure you fire with diplomacy is not to let the situation deteriorate to the point where the situation becomes very unpleasant.

Words to Use

Dismissing a client is a delicate issue.

It needs to be done carefully so that you and your company won’t be bad-mouthed to would-be customers.

Here are the words used by one business owner when he fired an abusive client:

“I’m not getting you the results you want and it doesn’t make sense to continue.
I would rather part as friends and let’s move on.”

Firing a troublesome customer is a luxury that some cannot afford.

But if a business owner has to choose between an abusive client or keeping good employees, the choice becomes very clear.

Get more good tips like this.

One Question Gets the Attention of Frazzled Prospects

person-dialing-phone-tnWouldn’t it be nice if you could get your foot in the door with your first call to a busy prospect?

Nice, but rarely ever happens.

Your prospects are getting phone calls from everyone else who sells the same products and services.

Let’s face it:

Your prospects and customers are crazy busy and they don’t have time to listen to everyone who tries to pitch to them.

To get some of our prospects’ precious time, we need to spread multiple contacts out over time – sometimes 10 or 12 contacts before we get the opportunity to make a presentation and ask the right questions.

And when we DO get their attention, we need to demonstrate that we know what we’re talking about and can provide the solutions that will solve their problems.

There is one specific question you can ask that will let your prospect know that:

  •  You have the experience and knowledge they need.
  • You have provided solutions to companies similar to their own
  • You are different (in a good way) from your competitors

The attention-getting question below is included in the book “Snap Selling,” written by best-selling author Jill Konrath.

“You already know that if you ask questions, your prospects will see you as more competent and caring, but you may not realize that some questions are better than others.

“Plain vanilla questions such as ‘What are your objectives for the coming year?’ or ‘What are your primary problems’ can be asked by any reasonably trained seller without much knowledge or experience.

“However, if you want to get to the Go Zone, you need to take your questioning skills to a whole new level.  More specific questions demonstrate your expertise.”

The Intelligent, Specific Question

To start a real conversation with prospects, ask this one brilliant question (customize for your specific products):

“Mr. Prospect, in working with other companies who were making copier decisions, I find that they’re typically concerned with 4 very basic criteria:  ease of operation, flexibility, reliability and quality.  Can you tell me which of these factors is most important to you and why?”

“See how you can bring in your experience?  This question leverages your expertise and will be more likely to start a conversation than “plain vanilla questions.”

 _    _    _    _    _

Dear Reader:  You CAN get attention plus build trust and credibility with prospects during your first call.  When they know you, like you and trust you, prospects are more likely to buy from you.  My one-to-one private e-course is designed specifically for your situation to get the results you want.  Take a look at what my favorite clients say about working with me  then contact me and I’ll get back to you within 24 hours. I look forward to helping you achieve your sales goals!

– Ann


The Worst Ever Voice Mail Messages and What to Say Instead

Some voice mail messages are unbelievable.Annoyed-woman-on-phone

You may have received one or two of these unbelievable messages.

Like the person who is eating while leaving the message.

Or someone who is chewing gum.  Not sure which is worse.

Then, the worst:

A sales rep making a cold call who actually yawned while reading (yes, reading) his voice mail message. True.

This voice mail was so shocking, I played it over and over again to make sure he really was yawning.   He was.

Two more voice mail mistakes:

1.)    Leaving only a name and number for a call back.

Some may think that not leaving a company name is an attention getter. But if the prospect returns the call and realizes it is a salesperson trying to sell something, this tactic will leave a negative impression.

There goes that first impression :-(

When leaving a message on voice mail, be sure it offers a hint of a benefit/result that sparks curiosity, but does not talk about your products or services.

2.) Saying “I’ve left 3 other voice mail messages for you and haven’t heard back from you.”  

(Otherwise known as “how to annoy a client.“)

There is a MUCH better way to get your point across and motivate the listener to return your call.

This is an example of a third or fourth voice-mail message you can leave (tactfully) for the client who did NOT return your calls:


“Hello [customer’s name]. This is [your name] at [your telephone

number] calling from [your company]. I’m sorry we’ve

been unable to connect, but I want to let you know that [time sensitive

benefit, i.e., “sale ends on the 30th of this month”] and I

would hate to see you miss out on this opportunity. Please call

me at [your telephone number.]”

You can get more voice mail scripts in my e-book Voice Mail Tips and Scripts on this page .

Better yet:

Join me for a private one-to-one coaching and training e-course designed specifically for you and your situation. Send an email to annbarr@annbarr.comn and I’ll get back to you within 24 hours. I would love to hear from you!

- Ann

p.s.  Learn why clients don’t return calls on this page

The Demise of The Salesman

death-of-a-salesman-tnNote:  This is a guest post by Marcia Coffey, a WordPress Designer, Inbound Marketer and Ecommerce Developer. She develops affordable responsive Word Press websites. Find Marcia on Google+ and Twitter.

This is NOT good news for those of you who prefer the hard sell and printed media.

By the time your potential customer arrives at your showroom, enters your store or rummages through your many, exciting wares, 60% of the selling process has already been done.

But not by YOU! Likewise NOT by ads in newspapers or on TV, not by outdoor advertising, direct mail flyers, brochures, postcards, stickers or even car wraps!

The message or CONTENT is still critical. But the Messenger has changed platforms. It is now the Internet. And, it is the Web in all its colorful clothing, constantly changing locations, on all of  its devices … iPhones, iPads, Androids, tablets, desktops, laptops … on different size monitors and used for different purposes.

Now the Messenger is under your complete control as buyer or consumer. You make the decisions, not the salesman.

“The Message” or Content now is multi-tasking. It can be a website,  a blog post, a Facebook page, a newsletter, a tweet, a podcast, a YouTube video, a slideshow, a Pinterest page, an e-book , a Google hangout, and so it goes. Digital content has no size or time boundaries, unlike a 2 column newspaper ad.

Two More Advantages of Inbound Marketing:

  • Much cheaper – by a factor of 61% – to get leads on the net than to purchase sales leads by zipcode.
  • You can actually target cost-effectively and measure your audience, then edit/revise your content as needed.

    From Ann:  Want to add effective outbound marketing to your inbound marketing efforts?  I can help!  Read what my favorite clients say about working with me and then drop me a line!


Use These 4 Words and Your Clients Will Love You

Sunday afternoon my niece Kathryn phoned me and started the conversation with four thoughtful words.

Actually, Kathryn used the same words in an email she sent to me the day before with the same lovely effect.


Kathryn, my unforgettable nieceInteresting:  These four words can be used very effectively when speaking with clients. (And . . . no . . . one of the words is not “love.”) It is one way you can become unforgettable if you are not already :-)

(This is Kathryn, my unforgettable niece, teaching a class.)

Beginning a conversation with these four words – if you genuinely mean what you are saying – is a guaranteed way to capture attention with a client or a friend or a family member.

Those four special words?

“I thought of you . . . “

In Kathryn’s case, she thought of me when she watched a TV show about people living near the Atlantic ocean.

How you can use these words with clients

When a business situation involves contacting clients about a special offer, you can start off with:

“I thought of you when this special offer became available.  Because you purchased the XYZ copier, this would be a great time for you to stock up on __________________.”

Rather than just smiling and dialing using the same old script to announce the special offer, use those four words and you will create a personal connection with the client.

For more good ideas, get useful weekly sales tips in your inbox or  join my e-course!

Thanks for reading – here’s wishing you a beautiful day!

- Ann