Firing Customers

I run a small business with my father. Yesterday, we decided to cut back our business with a customer. We had recently taken on a new project with them and at every turn they came back unsatisfied with our work.

A lot has been written on firing customers. Business is driven by relationships and interaction between people. Over time, those relationships can change. In this case, there are new people managing the relationship at our customer.

With as unhappy as I was with the situation, I still found the conversation with my customer difficult to have. This is a customer we have been doing business with for 15 years. They represent about 10% of our annual sales.

There wasn’t any yelling and the conversation was short. I told them we would issue credit (again) and told them we didn’t want to particpate in the project any more. They wanted to explain their latest complaint. I said that we had different perspectives on how the project was going and that it would be best if they found someone else going forward. They said OK and the call ended.

I am glad I did it.