As travel professionals, we work with many different types of clients. Some are easier to work with — answering our questions, knowing what they want, and not challenging our advice. And then there are those where we have to pull everything out of! Sure we have our favorites, while others we affectionately call PITA’s. We have our loyal clients and then those that use us for our knowledge but never book.
Have you ever had a nightmare client? I am sure you know the type—one that is always late in paying, high maintenance, and never wrong. Did you think about firing this client, but then realize that they were a substantial revenue source for you?
In all of our training we learn how to work with and deal with many different types of people and situations, but sometimes we come across that client we just might need to ‘let go’. But, this is something we always learned was not ok to do. I am here to tell you it IS!
Some of your customers may be costing you money. Remember your time is valuable. Let’s take a look at five of types of clients you may consider letting go.
- Whining clients – I’ll bet you that there is one particular customer whose calls and emails you dread because you just know they will be whining about something. They don’t think they should have to pay a certain price, they want something for nothing, or they just plain old whine about life. This client is not only a drain on your bottom line, but they can be a drain on your mental well being. Buh-bye.
- No profit clients -Take a look at your client list and examine it carefully. Odds are you will find clients that do not make you a profit. In fact, a few may actually cost you money, just to do business with them. Unless they lead to larger groups or referrals, they need to be sent away.
- Frustrating clients – These clients make poor use of their time and create emergencies for you. If they are always late in making a decision or payment, not prepared with the correct information or documents, or don’t respond in a timely manner, you may need to reconsider this client.
- Late paying client – This client always has an excuse. But in reality, they are either disorganized or not respectful of your business. Either way, they may not be a good, long-term client.
- Know-it-all clients – Those clients that continue to explore the internet to test your knowledge or re-price a package or cruise even after booked is challenging you and costing you more time. If the client is that good, maybe they need to be their own ‘agent’.
Firing a client is never easy and may not always be right for you. The thing to remember is that you are running your business to make a profit and to provide a product or service that helps others. You also need to understand that the product or service may not be right for everyone.
Penney Rudicil started her travel career in 1995 as an independent contractor. A few years later she started her own boutique host agency, The Travel Planner, Inc., working with independent travel professionals.
Believing that education is the foundation of success, and due to her dedication to the travel agent community, in 2006 Penney founded and is president of Travel Agent Success, Inc. She does a weekly 15 minute Tech Tip Tuesday webinar for anyone in the industry and hosts an in-depth monthly technology webinar for their members. They also offer many resources and educational opportunities, as well as one on one mentoring and training.