One thing that really drove me nuts, in every company I’d ever sold for, was how they gave greedy problem customers preferential treatment. They lived up to the saying, “The squeaky wheel gets the grease.”
I see the same thing going on with companies who ask for my help. They don’t understand why they’re not making enough sales, and meanwhile they’re spinning their wheels trying to please problem customers who will never be happy – no matter how much you give them!
In reality, a salesperson – wait, I should say a good salesperson – should not give his or her time to the problem customers. That time should go to your good customers, making sure they’re well taken care of. After all, only the good customers are going to give you referrals.
I remember well those customers who paid full price, and I remember even more so those who drove hard bargains and negotiated hard to get a low price. But guess what – the customers who paid full price had my full attention whenever they needed my help! I was always happy to stop what I was doing, and drive out to their offices when they needed help.
The jerks who drove hard bargains and negotiated low prices? I told them to call the 800 number. Not my problem, buddy.
You Get What You Pay For In Life
Robert Kiyosaki, one of my favorite business authors, points out that those who drive “hard bargains” and negotiate deep discounts usually aren’t smart businesspeople at all. They’re just plain cheap. The excellent book “The 48 Laws of Power” points out that it is always wise to pay full price, because it buys you respect and you will always be taken care of in the future, ahead of all other customers.
Napoleon Hill also said you get what you pay for, whether it’s an automobile or a loaf of bread, in “The Law of Success.”
Dr. Hill also pointed out that those who drive “hard bargains” are actually displaying the fear of poverty, one of the leading causes of failure.
How To Avoid “Squeaky Wheel” Problem Customers
I used to get stuck with these customers all the time, until I got very, very good at one of the most important sales skills of all:
QUALIFYING! Or more specifically – QUALIFYING OUT!
In fact, in my books and programs I take it one step better: Don’t merely qualify prospects. Try hard to qualify them OUT, to make sure you’re not wasting time with the wrong prospects!
Salespeople, especially newer salespeople, will take any lead they can get, run out and sell them immediately, and then they wonder why they spend all of next month dealing with customer service nightmares from people who are just plain unappreciative jerks!
It comes down to the fact that those prospects weren’t qualified, and shouldn’t have been sold in the first place. A qualified prospect WILL mean a happy customer, making your life easier and even providing you with plenty of referral business.
Where to find those highly qualified leads, who will not only buy from you with little or no objections, but will turn into happy customers, the ones we all dream about?
The worst possible way is cold calling. The best possible way is to get mega-networked. I love to tell people, “It doesn’t matter who you know, what matters is who knows you.”
Start right here in LinkedIn – it’s the most powerful networking tool in the world.
And DO NOT let the squeaky wheel have the grease! Not if you want to keep your integrity, anyway.