Are You Really Ready
for More Business?
The economy is showing some signs of
life, and as a result many of you may be
seeing a surge in clientele. You may think
that this is a good thing, but before you
get too excited, think again. Yes it’s true
that customers are necessary to stay in
business. Having a lot of them, however,
can be, well, annoying. After all, more
customers mean more revenue to count,
more trips to the bank to make deposits,
finding ways to spend the money, and
all the other annoyances associated with
success. What a pain.
So rather than dealing with the
headaches that come with a thriving
business, why not keep things simple and
downsize your client list to a manageable
few? Adding installation teams to handle
more business is hard, but fortunately
subtracting customers is easy. All you
need is someone who’s highly skilled at aggravating them to the point
where they no longer have any desire to do business with you. As a bonus,
they will likely tell anyone within earshot not to work with you either, so
you effectively kill a flock of birds with one shot.
Here’s my suggestion: if you haven’t done so already, strongly consider
creating the position of director of sales prevention for your business.
This role apparently has been implemented at numerous companies, and
its primary function is to aggressively minimize sales accumulation. It’s a sticky job, so you need the right guy–someone especially talented at
delivering dissatisfaction. Here are just a few of the required skills, to help
you spot promising candidates:
Even rookies know that the simplest way to alienate a customer is through lack of communication.
Even rookies know that the simplest way to alienate a customer is through
lack of communication. It’s amazing how quickly the telephone can derail
a customer relationship, just by not picking it up. Instead, voicemail works
as a great tool to annoy the customer gradually by creating the illusion
that you’re interested in helping them, without requiring that you actually
speak to them. After enough unreturned calls it will finally dawn on the
customer that they don’t matter to you, and they will conveniently take
their business elsewhere.
Making Customers Feel Stupid
Embarrassing a customer is a more advanced skill that requires some
savvy and experience. Customers typically know very little about home
technology, and therefore prefer things to be explained in simple fashion.
This creates a superb opportunity to disappoint them. A gifted sales
prevention specialist will deftly jab them with jargon while annoying them
with arrogance. This is the mark of a real pro. It’s not everyone that can
talk over the customer’s head while simultaneously looking down their
nose at them. It takes practice.
Most of us love surprises, but customers don’t. Truly skilled candidates
are able to create lofty customer expectations–for instance, that you’ll
arrive on the jobsite at specific time–and then miss the mark in spectacular
fashion. Polished professionals will even add a lame excuse, like they forgot
that daylight savings was over. However as with all the other skills, the key
here is repetition. Break one promise and you run the risk of the customer
giving you the benefit of the doubt. It takes an established pattern of
broken promises for the customer to finally get the hint and abandon ship.
If you’re lucky, you might have a qualified candidate for this position
already working for youso you can promote from within. If not, don’t
worry. Fortunately there is an abundance of qualified candidates out
there. When you spot a potential candidate, give him a call. If you never
hear back from him, you’ll know you’ve found the right guy.