Difficult Conversations: When to Walk Away from a Customer

Posted August 25, 2023 at 3:18 pm

TRSA recently hosted a webinar on best practices for handling difficult discussions with customers, including the potential for severing the relationship if both the operator and the customer don’t see eye to eye on the value of the service provided.

The webinar, titled “Difficult Conversations: Firing Unprofitable Customers,” was hosted by Jason Pourakis, partner, Mazars USA, Edison, NJ; and Ryan Berdnik, senior manager, Mazars USA. The hour-long presentation took place on Aug. 24 over Zoom.

Pourakis kicked off the webinar with three keys to running a successful business. These include:

  1. Know Your Costs: Perform an industry profit-and-loss spreadsheet, so that you know the average industry costs to run facilities and provide services, and compare those to your company’s specific operating costs.
  2. Know Your Ideal Client: These can be specific to industry sectors, such as F&B, healthcare, hospitality and industrial, as well as size of your ideal client and how the client values and views your services.
  3. Know Your Value: Know what makes your company unique and how that value proposition benefits your clients.

Berdnik then closed the webinar with vital tips for handling difficult conversations with your clients. Using the example of a customer proforma to make a financial case, Berdnik showed how to better articulate why credits or reduced/eliminated charges can’t continue. After discussing a number of negotiation tactics, Berdnik also identified several nonstarters and/or cues to walk away from the negotiating table.

TRSA offers more than 100 industry-specific programs that provide professional development and training on a range of issues, including regulatory/compliance matters, safety, best practices and strategies for enhancing productivity. Go to www.trsa.org/ondemand to visit TRSA’s On-Demand Learning Center to view this webinar and more. Visit www.trsa.org/calendar for a complete list of upcoming webinars and events.