Editor’s note: The following consists of a conversation between RCS Multimedia Manager Megan Ellsworth, and 1st Choice Roofing’s Operation Officer Mandy McIntyre. You can listen to the podcast or read the transcript below.
Megan Ellsworth: Hello. My name is Megan Ellsworth here at RoofersCoffeeShop.com and we are back again for an influencer response for the month of May. And here today, I am with Mandy McIntyre. So excited to have you and hear what you have to say today.
Mandy McIntyre: Hi Megan. Thank you so much. I always enjoy our conversation. So, thank you.
Megan Ellsworth: Fabulous. So this one's topic is really interesting and that is how do you fire a client that is bad for your business?
Mandy McIntyre: Yes. I actually love this topic. Well, I love all the topics, but this one I think is like something that needs talked about more because I feel, and my experience has demonstrated, that having the wrong customer or client is always bad for business. I feel that the best way to deal with this is to be proactive about it and to have a marketing plan and know your demographic, know your niche market, who is your ideal customer and only go after those customers.
I think a lot of contractors are quick to take put out a low bid. If someone wants a deal, offer them that discount just to get the work, but it is much better for the business to do less work at a higher price than more work at a lower price if the customers aren't your ideal customer base. So, a marketing plan, it is key to just avoiding that issue altogether.
Megan Ellsworth: Absolutely.
Mandy McIntyre: Now we have had customers that we've legitimately had to fire. And so my advice and my experience with this is to really know who you are as a company as far as your company culture and your core values, and when a customer doesn't align with that then they're not your customer. In my experience, it's worked out well where you are just very diplomatic about it and you have a phone call. And then I also always recap in writing too, and sometimes you even have to put like a non-disparaging agreement or something in there.
If they're looking for some sort of offer and you're canceling a contract and that's always recommended too. But just to say, I don't think this is a mutually beneficial partnership anymore. We'd like to go our separate ways. I think it's in your best interest and ours, no hard feelings and just be very professional about it. Obviously I think the worst thing you can do is just ignore them and just keep putting them off because people don't like confrontation but you have to have those hard conversations.
Megan Ellsworth: So true. Like that's the last thing that a customer wants as well is to keep calling and keep calling and no one answer and that you don't have any answers and questions. And just to be ignored too, that's no bueno.
Mandy McIntyre: Yeah. Yeah. So don't avoid them. Just be matter of fact. And sometimes, like I said before, we've had to do non-disparaging agreements so that they don't go and blast you on social media or anything. So that's always important to make sure your liability is covered in that regard because social media people can take you down very quickly.
Megan Ellsworth: So, so true. Any last kind of words of advice for, I was thinking about like maybe this client isn't a fit and I need to fire them?
Mandy McIntyre: I think I am a big person on intuition and gut feelings and you know when a customer is going to be a problem. And if you start seeing those signs early on, even in the proposal, in the estimate process, when they say they're getting 10 estimates. That right then and there, that is not your customer. That is not your customer. Three, average is acceptable, but when they are nitpicking and they are getting a ton of estimates, cut your ties early if you can.
What we've done too is we've inflated the price so that we know they're not going to go with us and then you don't even have to have that conversation. And they don't think that you are being dismissive of them, it's just this is our price and they're not going to go with it. So don't put too much effort into somebody that you know is going to just cause you more headaches down the road.
Megan Ellsworth: Absolutely. Well, thank you so much for chatting with me for this month. And I look forward to hearing what you have to say in June.
Mandy McIntyre: Thank you so much.
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