Sales Mastery
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Sales Mastery

How To Fire Thorny Customers

Want to only work with dreamy, ideal customers? Here’s how you do it.

Photo by Ugur Akdemir

I’m no mind reader, but I can tell how well your business is doing financially by asking you about your customers.

Are your customers a thorn on your side? Or are they dreamy, ideal customers you feel lucky that your business gets to serve? ⠀

Dreamy, Ideal Customers

If you answered yes to dreamy, ideal customers — it’s likely that you’ve done some work to get to this point. ⠀

Getting to a point where 100% of your customers are the people you want to sell to is an intentional place you arrive at after doing some work finding, gathering, and selling to your ideal audience. ⠀⠀

Businesses like these have boundaries and turn away customers if they don’t think it’s a fit. ⠀

Because these businesses are so crystal clear on who their customers are, they also end up generating a lot more revenue because their marketing is so laser-focused. ⠀

Isn’t it ironic that the businesses that turn away customers don’t have issues generating sales? Clarity is a serious teacher. ⠀

Thorny Customers

If you answered yes to thorn on your side — even if it’s not all of your customers, but some of them, this is where you are forced to live if you’ve got bills to pay and no marketing and sales systems in place to find and cultivate your ideal audience. ⠀⠀

A thorny customer: ⠀

✔️ Constantly tries to negotiate you down on your prices⠀

✔️ Has unreasonable requests⠀

✔️ Has misaligned expectations on what your product or service should do ⠀

When your business is in the space, you grab what you can get because you’re held down by the belief that if you don’t take this sale now, you may not have another opportunity to make money.

And this belief is true if you don’t have a system in the background finding and gathering your ideal customers. ⠀

The only businesses that have to work with customers that aren’t a fit for them are the ones that don’t operate beyond touch and go sales. They have to take what they can get because they don’t have a customer pipeline set up.

For some business owners, thorny customers are brushed off as “this is just a part of doing business”. ⠀

For me, I see the presence of thorny customers as a clear sign that your business doesn’t have any systems finding and courting your ideal customers. ⠀

Switch From Thorny To Ideal Customers

To fix this for your business, here’s what you can do: ⠀⠀

1. Set your future self up for success.

I’m not promising any overnight success stories, but if you start building a marketing and sales system right now — where you’re finding and cultivating ideal customers in the background of your business, in a few months you can transition into completely working only with dreamy, ideal customers.

This means that you need to rev up that lead generation engine by finding places to source your ideal customers from and then funnel them to a lead cultivation sequence where you can build a relationship with them.

My favorite place to source my ideal customers is on Instagram and Medium, and then I funnel these leads to my emails, where I build a relationship with them.

2. Ease off the sales channels that are delivering your thorns.

You can usually pinpoint where you’re sourcing your non-ideal customers from. ⠀⠀

Even if these channels may be raking in sales for you, if you continuously interact with customers who are giving you more grief than pleasure, you won’t mentally last at your business. Did you start your own business to be stressed out all the time? Probably not. ⠀⠀

Once your system is working well enough to continuously source a large pool of your dream customers, start slowly easing off your thorny sales channels, and eventually remove them completely. ⠀

3️. Know your stuff and make a plan.

Now that you know what you have to do, start making a plan to execute it.

What marketing and sales system can you set up? What sales channels can you ease off of?

After you execute this plan, observe what you can do to improve it.

Did you have a great 1st month during this transition plan and already replace 10% of the income from your thorny sales channels?

Great, so conceivably, it sounds like you can completely transition off your thorny sales channels within 10 months. Does 10 months sound like a good timeline for you? Or is there a way to speed up this timeline by boosting your marketing efforts?

I send Friday emails that’ll turn your startup chase into a victory lap. Sign up here if that’s where you’re heading.

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