Get Productive, Drop Your P.I.T.A. Clients

27 Dec

We’ve all had a “PITA client”-perhaps more than one. (PITA stands for “pain in the a**.) A PITA will drain you, consume valuable resources, upset your team, squeeze you on price, pay slowly, and will never be satisfied with the results-even when you’ve agreed on the deliverables.

You know the warning signs. A PITA client will:

  • Nickel and dime you on price
  • Tell you they’re the decision makers when they’re not
  • Threaten you with your competitors
  • Make unreasonable demands, and expect fast, complete, and reliable delivery of your service
  • Not return phone calls

Talk about loss of productivity! PITAs are our biggest time wasters and they erode our profits. When we accept a PITA, it’s an opportunity cost-an opportunity lost to do business with our ideal clients. Yet companies continue to accept this bad business, all the while thinking it’s better than no business. But is it?

Sometimes it’s because we have a quota to meet, or our company insists we do a deal, or we think we can turn a bad situation into a good one. We’re dreaming. Bad business is bad business. Period.

Salespeople frequently say that they will sell to “anyone who fogs a mirror.” Avoid this kind of thinking. We shouldn’t target just “anyone.” “Anyone” all too frequently turns out to be the PITA customer.

Fire the PITA! Most of the time we can identify the PITA client before we even begin to work with them. Say no. It’s OK to walk away. In walking away from the PITA, you’ll have time to attract the kind of clients you really want, to do the work you love, and your productivity will soar!

Want more?
Listen to my podcast on Productivity on Salesopedia

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2 Responses to “Get Productive, Drop Your P.I.T.A. Clients”

  1. The RainMaker Maker December 27, 2007 at 7:16 pm #

    Better yet……………Don’t take them. If a prospect calls me abrasive during the buyer-seller dance, do you really think that it’s gonna get any better when they’re paying you?

    If you follow my philosophy, you will stop trying to qualify prospects and start trying to DIS-qualify them. Read this http://therainmakermaker.com/2006/06/20/steven-cardinale-on-seth-godin.aspx, and this http://therainmakermaker.com/2006/06/24/another-interpretation-of-abl.aspx, and this http://therainmakermaker.com/2006/08/02/one-happy-client-at-a-time.aspx.

  2. Joanne Black January 4, 2008 at 3:54 pm #

    That’s the idea–don’t take them in the first place. “Say no. It’s OK to walk away.”

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