Have you ever ‘fired’ a customer?
Most of us associate firing with something that is carried out when an employee’s performance is far below their employer’s expectations. Indeed, we rarely think of customers being in the ‘firing line,’ so to speak. There are plenty of businesses that operate by the mantra of ‘the customer is always right,’ and they continue their relationship with customers no matter how easy – or difficult – they may be. Business is business, right?
Well, not necessarily, and especially not in a sales environment. Sometimes, continuing a relationship with one customer can actually mean that the business is missing out on new customers, and consequently more money.
All too often, sales people hang on to their clients’ accounts regardless of how active or inactive they are; or regardless of how beneficial those clients are to the business. On average, within a salesperson’s portfolio 6% of accounts will be responsible for 50%+ of revenue, a further 15% has the potential to add 25%, and the remaining 80% will produce around 25% of the revenue.
Spending time on inactive, unproductive accounts is a waste of time and money, as it keeps salespeople away from developing new business as well as developing growth accounts. Instead of focusing on customers that don’t offer anything to the business, it’s more beneficial to focus on new leads that have much more revenue potential.
Although firing a customer is probably easier said than done, you may need to part with them for your business’ sake. In another mantra, it’s ‘out with the old and in with the new’ – that ‘new’ being potential customers, and an increased focus on growth accounts. By working to this mantra, salespeople are able to enjoy increased sales, while the business can enjoy increased growth.