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Difficult Conversations: Firing Unprofitable Customers

Customers who mistake your linen and uniform service for a bargain basement run the risk of becoming unable to receive your service. Their unjustified insistence on paying less doesn’t breach your service agreement but it erodes your margin. To continue to serve them and get paid fairly, you have to delicately negotiate with them. You need a strong basis to contend that it’s best for them to maintain your relationship but they have to pay more.

This webinar will prepare you for such communication. You’ll get tips to guide whoever does the talking for you in these situations to better articulate why credits or reduced/eliminated charges can’t continue. Whether this spokesperson is your business owner, manager or other representative, you must credibly portray the relationship’s destruction of your bottom line. Empirical evidence of high cost won’t do. Neither will hinging your case on general economic conditions. You’ll likely need to describe the range of costs you incur from producing and servicing every item you provide the hemorrhaging account and perhaps discuss the amount of margin damage.

Mazars USA, a longtime consultant to our industry in calculating profitability by account, will advise on how to sound more professional in such encounters. You’ll learn about alternative approaches to preserving the relationship. While the presentation’s context will be account profitability, you’ll draw contrasts between this concern and other situations in which termination might be the only recourse:

  • Abusive language in interactions with your team members
  • Insistent, continuous support requests previously addressed a number of times
  • Unpredicted cost-of-goods-purchased overrun the customer won’t bear