We, the salespeople...the marketers of our business, LOVE earning a new customer.
We also love seeing our book of business grow!
We take pride in that which we have assembled...a big, fat, shiny, profitable book of clients with whom we do business regularly.
So why is it then that we recommend firing some of them?
The answer is simple, yet commonly overlooked:
Some of your clients are toxic.
And toxic clients produce polluted revenue.
As illustrated in his book 'The One-Page Marketing Plan', Allan Dib describes the 4 categories that all customers fall into. He also gives us hints as to which ones to steer clear.
Customer Type #1: The Tribe
These people are your loyal customers. They are fans of your business and enjoy doing business with you.
They are the ones that buy from you regularly, are pleasant to deal with, and rarely complain.
A 'Tribe' customer is the lifeblood of your business. These customers are the reason your doors are open and your light are on.
Customer Type #2: The Churner
The 'Churner' is a prospect who, in truth, cannot afford your product or service.
But, being the gifted salesperson you are, you follow up with them. You sell, sell, sell this prospect until they finally buy from you.
Then, they don't get the results they were looking for, because they weren't in a position to buy from you in the first place.
They stay with you only a short while, then they churn. At best, they simply never come back to buy from you. At worst, they blame YOU for their poor results and share their story of you with others.
Customer Type #3: The Vampire
Unlike the Churner, the Vampire can afford you...
...but you can't afford them!
Vampires are customers that demand significantly more time and resources from your business that any other type of customer.
They come to the table with high expectations that seem to never be met. They complain most often, and are usually the slowest to pay their invoices. Vampires suck the lifeblood right out of your business.
If you have a customer that:
- Always wants to speak to the owner...
- Expects more communication than the average customer...
- Is frequently critical of your product or service...
- You have to chase down for invoice payments...
...then you might have a Vampire customer.
Customer Type #4: The Snow Leopard
Snow Leopards are beautiful...and we all love them!
Snow Leopard customers are clients that are high revenue generating and make a BIG impact to your bottom line.
You spend a lot of time and resources on Snow Leopards, not because they demand it, but because you feel obligated to due to their high revenue. They are also fun to work with, so time flies when you spend time with them.
They seem like an ideal customer...except for one, important detail:
You cannot scale a business with Snow Leopards, because they are SO RARE!
In a nutshell, we want more Tribe customers.
Yet, Snow Leopards are who we seem to chase after.
The tribe customer is like the proverbial 'good spouse' staying home and tending to the business while we are out chasing the good time people.
Snow Leopards are OK if you have one, just be aware not to spend too much time chasing them.
If you focus your marketing efforts on your Tribe, minimize marketing to Snow Leopards, and fire Churners and Vampires to go work with your competition...you'll be in better shape.