Those who bring us not profits and losses. Sometimes the material, and often reputation. There are five basic types of dangerous clients. To deal with them practically useless. They just need time to recognize and as soon as possible to distance himself from them. Another two species may benefit, if handled adroitly.
In marketing practice, often there are situations when a company calls or writes by e-mail to competitors under the guise of a potential customer finds out the conditions of sale. In our case, we consider another situation. When the spy act is not a competitor, as a regular company.
Why firm-the potential buyer to engage in this kind of espionage? More often - it is a way to optimize your portfolio. Company A has long worked with the firm B and buys her equipment for their stores. Naturally, over time, the management company A begins to appear that she favored a company B. And you want a little "dry" conditions of payment. But for that to have on hand the arguments for the negotiations, the firm began working with a company B, a competitor of BA to work - not to buy. And just to know the prices, delivery terms, warranty and service commitments. Then the most valuable of developments in the company will be represented at the talks with a longtime partner. And the customer will require that the firm B is also consistent with these requirements.
Thus the company in lost time, effort, which seemed promising in the treatment of a client disclosed its pricing and corporate secrets. And was the loser.
How to recognize customer-spy: more often it is a big company operating in the market a long time and kitsch of their fame and status. In the practical work of such firm is very corrosive, requires maximum documenting all the steps of proposals. The basic requirement - to spread the cost of the contract into components, then to manipulate them. Preparation of the contract is long, viscous, but always at the forefront of output arguments about what a blessing to have a partner. Break in relations is on a far-fetched reason.
How to fight - sensibly assess the prospects for cooperation and to propose future partner level system works. At the initial stage of test-purchases, begins a movement of "money - the goods." It was only during the specified parameters have a large contract.
How to win. We note immediately that the fight - not to win. You can win without a struggle, just given the psychological characteristics of client-spy. Indeed, in many cases, companies spend a lot of effort to ensure that just sown about the need to check the condition of one supplier to the terms of another. And then the client himself came to this thought.
Therefore, we need only the right to present yourself, make sure the process of communication that your services are better. Moreover, the emphasis should not be on those factors that can "kill" a competitor - price, discounts, installment payments, etc. And at the very atmosphere of cooperation, on your unique service offering (SPO - in contrast to the traditional marketing of the twentieth century, a unique selling proposition).
In this case, you have a real chance to attract the customer spy on its side and set with a long working relationship. Of course, if your company can find interesting for the customer USP.
Client - an extortionist
Principles of operation of such a client similar to the principles of customer-spy. Only in this case, the firm is ready to cooperate with you. But under the conditions most convenient for you.
Achieve these conditions in two ways. The first - on the stage of negotiations much promise to achieve the maximum discount, and then begin to buy much smaller amounts, but still with the maximum possible discount. Second - get started, pick on little things, insulted and demand concessions on price or delivery terms. The second way is commonly used medium-sized companies, the first - market leaders.
How to recognize customer-extortionist? The firm and its representatives immediately try to establish with you the informal good-neighborly relations and the cornerstone put more partnerships than pure business. This is a time bomb, which the client lays beneath you. Because in the case of negligence (and missteps happen always and all) you can not compensate for his loss of material. He wants you to be blamed morally. And then the amount of compensation may be disproportionately large in comparison to the damage actually caused.
How to deal: avoid excessive confidence in working with clients and not to turn work into a friendship. Do not believe in high patrons that are important partners and significant contracts. Business - it`s just business.
How to win? Again - to clearly separate personal and business. And do not make mistakes. And if we assume - have clearly defined forms of compensation are the same for everyone. However, and here by your side the advantage that the client has already drawn attention to you and is willing to work with you. Enough to correctly build a relationship.
Although in many cases the client with the psychology of the blackmailer is not useful for the firm, and at the first opportunity is to get rid of a partner.
Severe cases. Virtually useless to fight, win - unlikely. The best way - as soon as possible to terminate all relationships. Vampires prefer to surround the transaction or your co mass of conventions, rules, special reservations. They are constantly changing operating conditions, the volume of purchases. They are constantly changing input conditions. And you do not notice as provided them with three or four services at a price of one. Or give a discount on a minimum shipment. Or offered bonuses at absolutely insignificant sales.
The technology of vampires is that requires you to maximum exertion with minimal impact. Vampires in the business, as well as vampires in my life - being dangerous, but looks very cute and seemingly harmless. Always want to get into their situation, sorry to offend their refusal.
Vampire attracts unhealthy. So if you have a good case - is unlikely to be followed by an attack. They prefer a weak brand (in a state of crisis or instability). In this situation every customer seems to salvation, for it is sufficient to cover the straw. Human feelings, indecision, unclear division of responsibilities in the course of cooperation - that breeds of vampires. And since the style of their work can not be undone or aspen stake or silver bullet, it`s better just not to work with companies that have muddled organization of labor.
In American cinema, beginning with the famous eponymous film with Rutger Houhere, came into vogue in his time theme dangerous hitchhiker. In business, this threat is still relevant today. On the long and lonely highway business sometimes unwittingly succumb to desire to share the severity of the road with someone, for example - with the customer.
Almost always you in one direction, but in different places. Ie his order is somewhat different from what you produce. But it is in the same commodity group. And you decide to try to modify somewhat the range of goods or services. Try to get the job done similar, but not entirely so, as always. If you did automatic gate - you are invited to undertake the construction of the garage entirely. If you conduct marketing research in the mass of the product - you offer branding product premium.
The true entrepreneur is always ready to develop a new niche. But if you read the biographies of modern millionaires, it will not find examples where the wealth came to the company in connection with the performance of non-core order. This was possible in the XIX century, but not in the twentieth. Neighbors only seem similar niches. In fact, the world is ruled specialization.
As a result, communication with customers, fellow traveler you are provided with headache, loss of time, resources and tools. Severe separation and slur. Plus the uncertainty in their abilities and fear of innovation. Just innovations should ripen in a collective, rather than coming from outside.
How to recognize a "fellow traveler"? On the order form. Customer order-companion never coincides with the profile of your work, but only something similar to it.
How to deal: give up immediately or only perform that part of the work, which is located in your jurisdiction.
How to win: to refuse cooperation, but look closely at the neighboring market niches, identify forward-looking and well prepared to work with them. And only then to cooperate.
Client - partner
Partners must be chosen independently. And in this case - based on long-term cooperation. Alas, many companies come to you with offers of contracts, implementation of which in principle is possible only if you are entering into partnerships. A partnership - it`s total profits, risks, general, initially uncontrollable, expenses and investment costs in the calculation of future dividends. Is it worth it immediately so complicate normal sale transaction? In 9 cases of 10 - no.
How to recognize? Fuzzy, fuzzy wording order, the desire to pass on to you of the responsibility for future profits. Prevarication of a clear division of responsibilities.
How to deal: all of these methods are good. Start with small transactions, clearly list the rights and obligations is not beyond its jurisdiction, do not be distracted from its goals and mission of the firm.
How to win: you have to be glad that you see in a partner. But do not rush them to become. Check the customer on numerous conventional transactions. Earn it. Maybe with time it will be your full partner.
And in any case - to work with them, check how clearly defined your mission and what the purpose of your company. Is it easy to knock your way with new goals? If so - think about the integrity of their business and the philosophy of their goals. Life and business.