These customers pride themselves in making our business lives difficult. First, they are predictable: they will challenge all proposed solutions. Even the simplest ones. Why? Because everything has to be “their idea.” Otherwise, it is not good enough. As a result, even when the contract is consummated, these customer types continue to second-guess us and reinforce their self-importance.
Toxic demanding customers like to butt heads. All the time. As their leadership communication strategy. Sound familiar?
Consequently, the actions of toxic demanding customers sabotage not only our business growth strategy. Over time, their leadership style compromises the growth of their own organizations.
Toxic leaders are not easy to do business with, even for their own client bases. Over time, as business professionals of worth, we realize that their organizational cultures are full of people whose professional capacity is limited. Who can thrive in this non-collaborative environment? As a result, where toxic leaders are allowed to roam and run rampant, output becomes less-than remarkable. Over time, the organization becomes less-than-competitive.
In addition, their own client bases become full of companies with low expectations of product and service delivery quality. In fact, their clients primarily select vendors and suppliers based on price. Which means that the client bases of toxic, demanding customers can fluctuate, alarmingly and annually, as clients defect in search of a better price point.
Do we really want to spend our professional lives with these toxic people? Over time, our own professional capacity is negatively impacted. We become less than we are meant to be.
Choosing the “right” type of demanding customers to spend our time with grows our brain cells and our referral bases.
Actually, the choice is a no-brainer (yes, that was a pun). Over the course of each quarter, we naturally gravitate to our preferred list of demanding customers: the ones who bring out our best performance and innovation.
As a result, our client bases gradually become loaded with clients who want us to serve their needs over the long haul. None of this low-hanging, price-driven fruit stuff. Where we waste our expertise on clients who only want to sign a quick contract based on impulse, rather than intelligence. And never renew.
Subsequently, we carve out chunks of (yes I know, valuable) time to deal with those toxic demanding customers. Essentially, we quarantine them – at our convenience, not theirs. Because they are so very predictable. We know how they will behave and how the meeting will go.
Also, we know that their toxic goal is to prevent us from being as productive and profitable as we can. Why continue this way?
Ultimately, toxic demanding customers are impediments to business growth strategy: ours and theirs.
Serving today’s Industry40 customers is an honor and a privilege, not a rote task. And not a toxic game, either. The complex, digitally connected business ecosystem is challenging enough. Without having to deal with toxic customers stuck in Yesterday’s mindset.
Develop a business growth strategy that pivots you, and your organization, away from a toxic client base. Click here. Let’s talk strategy and implementation.
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Babette Ten Haken’s One Millimeter Mindset™ speaking programs showcase how collaboration catalyzes purposeful personal development and business growth in today’s digitally transforming B2B and B2C environments. Create a more engaged and profitable workforce relentlessly focused on customer success and customer retention. Babette Ten Haken is a STEM design thinker, Six Sigma Green Belt and Voice of the Customer facilitator, forged by her background in new product development, startups, market research and sales. She is a member of SME, ASQ, SHRM and the National Speakers Association. Her professional speaker profile appears on the espeakers platform. Babette’s Playbook of collaboration hacks, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com.
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