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High-maintenance customers

Question
What is the best way to deal with high-maintenance customers? 
Answer
Here are some thoughts on how to manage customers whose demands exceed their benefit as customers. Consider this sequence:

1. Take an honest look at what each customer requires and your ability to deliver.

2. Determine if you can satisfy them while staying true to your overall business strategy.

3. If you determine that you can't efficiently satisfy them, then you've simultaneously determined that their needs are incompatible with ability or desire to serve them efficiently or profitably.

4. Before ending any relationship, approach the customer with a list of what their expectations have been in the past. Highlight those you're best able to meet.

5. If the customer can accept what you are prepared to deliver, you might still have a good customer.

6. If the customer cannot accept that, part as friends and professionals. 
Brain Trust contributor: Author of The Risk-Free Entrepreneur
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