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Turning a customer down!

SilenceDogoodSilenceDogood subscriber Posts: 9
edited September 2008 in Marketing
I have received a quote request from a college (I provide educational software and services).
The problem: 1) The opportunity may be too big to handle with our current resources; 2) It may not be an exact fit.
I am leaning towards turning the customer away but I so hate to do that.
If I do turn the business away, any suggestions on a good way to do it?
Any sage advice?


  • nextjobhelpnextjobhelp subscriber Posts: 1
    I have been honest with some of my clients and told them that unfortunately we couldn`t work on a particular project...some don`t like to hear it, but most understand and it has only made our working relationship stronger because we have a very straight talk approach with our clients.
  • nevadasculnevadascul subscriber Posts: 3 Member
    First, tell them why you can`t do the job.  Then see if the customer is willing to make changes in the project that would make it possible for you to do the project.  If the project can`t be changed, make suggestions where the customer can get the work done.  You may loose the sale, but the customer will still remember you in a favorable light.
    Also, and most important, don`t lie to a customer.  A field service manager I knew lied to a customer about being able to do a repair job on an entry system.  The system was fifteen years out of date and parts were no longer available.  The field service manager lied and then spent four weeks dodging the customers phone calls.  All the while, the customers entry system was down.  When the customer finally found out the service manager lied, customer dropped us as as a service provider.  It cost our company thousands of dollars in future sales to the customer.nevadascul9/23/2008 2:11 PM
  • SilenceDogoodSilenceDogood subscriber Posts: 9
    Wow!  Great advice.
    Consensus: Be honest and upfront.
    Here is what I did (took action before reading here):
    I provided a quote that was enough to cover normal costs, profit margin plus subcontracting some help on the project.
    The response from the prospect: The cost is more than we expected / budgeted - we need to talk about it internally.
    So, it may still be alive but I`m expecting a bit of negotiation on the price.
    And I am prepared to make alternate suggestions to them if need be.... thanks all for the advice!
    It is funny with the small business thing: I have yet to have a customer be put-off by that - quite a few seem to see it as a plus.
  • ocbizchickocbizchick subscriber Posts: 0
    I am new here and I agree on the great advice... and had a perspective and experience to share.  I know often times when we start our business we work with anyone that has a pulse but I think the true evolution of a successful entrepreneur requires us to be more selective and clear about who we work best with.
    There were many times in the beginning of my business that I did not trust my instincts when I knew I should turn someone down, or when you need to pay the bills every customer is important   But when the person ends up not being a good fit it takes up so much time and energy that it takes the space of an 1 or more ideal clients.  Each and every time I didn`t trust my instincts there was a cost either personally or professionally.
    I have worked with many entrepreneurs over the years to help them identify their ideal clients and start weeding out the ones that just aren`t a fit and on every occassion the people who do this experience less stress, more time and work less for every dollar, not to mention they have raving fans who are truly happy and grateful for their services.
    So I ditto the be upfront and honest and add always trust your instinct!
    Wendi Liechtyhttp://www.TheCasualEntrepreneur.com
    Helping Entrepreneurs Make Dollars & Sense
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