Have you ever had a customer who was difficult, or you didn’t get along with? You might not even understand why. Maybe they didn’t pay their bill on time, or maybe they were a challenge, or maybe they are a “time sucker”.

Of course you have. We all have. If you’re doing business; if you’re in the marketplace, of course, you have customers who are more difficult than others. And, you have customers who are great.

Here’s a strategy on how to handle all of your customers- how to get more of the customers that you want, and get rid of those customers that you just don’t get along with, or are not a good fit for your business.

It’s called A, B, C, D your customers.

Get out your customer list, go through it customer by customer, and divide your customers into four categories.

Here are the four categories:

The first category is called “A”, and “A” is for “Awesome“. These are your ideal clients. These are the ones that you love to see. These are the ones that when the phone rings, you can’t wait to answer. These are the ones who follow your rules. These are the ones who make business a pleasure.

From a marketing standpoint of view, you want to build an avatar-a picture of your ideal client. It will include all the characteristics, all the attitudes, all the things that would define a great customer. These are your very best customers. They’re usually large. They make up 80% of your business. They might only be 20% of your customer base, but represent 80% of your business. So, define your A customers and work to get more of them.

B” is for Basic. “B’s” will make up about 80% of your client base, or they will when we get finished. These are very good customers. They miss being “A” grade on one or two points, but they are still very solid customers. They may miss on size, product purchasing range, or anything on your list of “A” qualifications. With “B” customers, our goal is to turn some of them into “A” customers, because the more “A” customers you have, the easier life gets.

That leaves two more categories.

C” stands for “can’t deal with”. “C’s” likely don’t pay you on time. Or, they’re just difficult, or you just don’t connect with them. Something doesn’t add up.

So, what do you do about your “C” customers? You have to reposition your “C” customers. Some of them can become “B’s” and some of them will just need to go away.

I was talking to a prospect yesterday who has a virtual law firm. Since it’s virtual, if you are not tech savvy, if you’re not comfortable with video communications, or if you’re not comfortable with Zoom, you’re probably not a great fit for her business. She’s not going to waste a lot of time to teach people the technology. After all, she’s a lawyer, not an IT person . That’s a great perspective.

Write your “C” grade customers a letter and explain to them the rules of the game. If they want to continue being a client of yours, “Here are the rules, and if you can abide by those rules, we’d love to have you stay on board.” And then they’ll become a “B” client. If not, that’s okay. They’ve made a choice, and they will actually resign. You won’t have to fire them. They will just leave.

You also have “D” grade clients, and these are the people that are never going to do anything good for you. They’re always going to be a problem. They don’t want to move up. They probably don’t pay you, or maybe haven’t paid you in a long time. Just get rid of them. “Dstands for dead. These customers need to go away.

To summarize, A, B, C, D your clients. Get rid of the “D’s”. Reposition your “C‘s”. Work on making your “B’s” into “A’s”, and then work on making the “A’s” even better- then, get referrals from “A‘s”. “Birds of a feather flock together.” And you want more “A” grade clients.

Go ahead. A, B, C, D your clients. You’re going to be amazed at how much easier business is once you get rid of those “C” and “D” customers and make them into “B‘s” and “A‘s”.

Until next time…

All the best!

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