Hiring and Firing...
Great little tidbit on a blog by Tony Dowler called Career Path, which I’ve not read before, on the topic of hiring better customers. I wonder if the author has any idea just how central this idea is to a successful and growing consultancy. If you’ve worked in consulting or system integration – heck, maybe in any kind of business – you’ve worked for and with customers whose checks cashed nicely, but who were just an utter pain in the ass. They may or may not have known this – some would be mortified to know and would change if they could, or maybe if you asked them to. But for others, what they are is just what they are – too demanding, too unfocused, too needy, too cheap, too slow to pay… just too darned problematic for longterm work. So either help them get better, or fire them.
In reading the piece – a little blurb, really – I was reminded of a few things I’ve written here before… in January on setting clients’ expectations, June on getting out, and one I can’t find at the moment about “What are you not doing this year”… hope that didn’t get lost in the Blogger void.
I also remembered seeing something in Inc. Magazine on a similar topic, and with a little looking, found an article from their October 2003 edition entitled “Getting to No”. Funny thing is, its not at the Inc. site anymore, but at an online service called KeepMedia, where with free registration you can read the whole thing (you can see the first 3 paragraphs without registering). KeepMedia seems kind of cool… they archive a few publications in whole, like 1215 of them as of today!
“Firing” clients is an important part of focusing and growing many businesses. Do it nicely, and sometimes the clients actually come back around later, appreciative of the action. And if not, cashing their checks isn’t the only and definately not the primary measure of value, now is it?
Nice work, Tony.. I’d keep the blog, but lose the hat (grin)