Oh Grandma, What Big Teeth You Have: Guest Blog by Michael Evans, Chief Thinker & Do-er at Beyond-Consulting

“Oh Grandma, what big teeth you have” – Not all customers are what they seem…

Congratulations on getting your company up and running. I know how hard it is to do, having set-up and grown a software reseller through the recent tough economic years.

If I were to give you advice about new customers, there is a fundamental lesson I’ve learnt, and that is the fact that not all customers are as good as they first seem to be…and the bad one’s can cause you a world of pain.

When you’re in the early years of your new business, it’s very tempting to look for sales to come from anywhere and anyone. You need to get revenue through the door, so that you can start to deliver on your plans, grow your company and afford to keep going.

But if you don’t have a clear idea of the profile of customer that will really benefit from your services, you will unfortunately take on customers where either your product or service isn’t right for them, or the way they expect you to work with them is totally opposite to how you want to work…and there are some that are just very demanding and a pain in the backside.

The issues they can cause will range from using up hours of your time to help them get the benefits from your services, through to potential non-payment of invoices and legal issues.

This hassle all takes away from getting new, good customers…the one’s you really want to be working with.

So to avoid these problem customers, identify a clear profile of the types of customer that will get real benefit from you and the type of customer you want to work with (you will often have a gut instinct about a customer when you first speak or meet with them – I’d recommend you listen to this). And remember, the one’s that get real benefit will be a great source of referral business.