Six Easy Ways To Lose Your Clients


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Customer-centricity is like art. As a customer, you know it when you see it, or rather, when you feel it.

You get those warm, mushy feelings like “they really care about me” and the urge to tell your friends.
That’s what prompted me to share a few personal examples of customer-centric selling in my last blog about
showing customers some love.

Sometimes it’s hard to figure out internally whether you’re running a customer-centric business or not. You could take our CustomerQ assessment to calculate your CustomerQ score and see how your customer management practices stack up against others.

Or, take some advice from John Doerr, founder of Wellesley Hills Group, on what attributes to avoid, unless you want to lose your clients. These were written for professional services firms, but I think it’s good stuff for most any business.

  • Once you sign the deal, disappear.
  • Show a consistent lack of respect for your client inside your own firm.
  • Hide the other ways you can help – hey, it’s “my” client.
  • Keep to the tried and true approaches.
  • Don’t ever, ever check to see how you are doing.
  • Make your invoices as confusing and indecipherable as possible.

Doerr’s complete post is funny and thought-provoking.
How to Unseat an Incumbent Service Provider
. Enjoy!


  1. Bob,
    As a client myself, I too often encounter the following way a vendor tries to be successful at losing me: He (or she) only provides answers to questions I didn’t even ask …

    An absolute expert in this field (in a ++ way), his site is in Dutch only, is Guido Thys,

    who very eloquently writes, speaks and blogs

    a/o about How to ruin your own business successfully (yes, “ruin”, not “run”) or How to get rid of your customers.
    His key topic is the creation of customer value, but by often approaching it from the opposite direction he has a superb and yet unmatched way of demonstrating the essence of the concept.


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