Fighting your ally  

Posted by Stephen Lowe

I just read this post from Seth Godin's blog and it got me thinking.  Make sure to read the entire post but this one paragraph stopped me in my tracks. (I bolded for effect)

"Years ago, when I had ten people working for me at my book packaging company, one client accounted for about half our revenue. They were difficult, constantly threatening litigation, sending lawyers to otherwise productive meetings, questioning our ethics and more. It was clearly the culture of their organization to be at war. So I fired them. I gave them the rights and walked away, even though it meant a huge hit to our organization. Why do it? Because if we had stuck with them, it would have changed who we were, who we hired and how we marketed ourselves going forward. We would have had a lifetime of this."

In business, I have had to make decisions like this with Vendors, Customers and Partners.  Some people, no matter what the benefit they bring monetarily are not worth the energy, effort and hassle it takes to deal with them.  Sometimes these are the hardest decisions to make but in the long run we always benifit from it.  When we were in the paging business, we had what we called "black hole" customers.  No matter how much we tried, they could not and would not ever be happy.  We could have given them free service forever and they still would not be satisfied.  It took a couple of years into the business to realize that we didn't need every single customer that came through the door and we started shutting them off. 

I think we will always have others that no matter how much we focus and pour into them they will never be satisfied and continue to beat us down until we draw the line.  The other issue here is making sure that you do not become one of these types yourself without realizing it.  Whether you are in business or ministry, if you are constantly in a state or attitude of war with the people who should be considered your ally, no amount of money or benifits you have to offer will be able to overcome this attitude in the long run.  Don't get labeled as a "Black Hole".


About Me

My name is Stephen Lowe. I'm a Christ follower, Husband, Father, Technologophile and Metalhead. This is where I dump my observations and opinions on whatever strikes me as noteworthy. Enjoy, discuss, disagree, I'm cool with whatever.

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