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If You Love Your Team, Protect Them From Nightmares

My friend has a brand new client. Her new client is giving her a world of problems. This client’s employees are shockingly mean to my friend’s employees. They tell her employees that they are stupid and incompetent. They yell and curse at her employees. They make every complaint a personal attack on the individual, abusing them. To call this client’s employee’s behavior unprofessional doesn’t come close to describing the lengths they will go to be hurtful. They are exceedingly low on the business maturity continuum.

My friend tried to reason with her new client. But her new client can’t be reasoned with. So she fired them—even though they spend a lot of money in her space. She values something more than her new client’s business or their money; she values her employees.

Protect Them

My friend loves her employees. She respects them as individuals. A lot of people talk the talk when it comes to things like integrity and respect, but she walks the walk.

The easiest way to discover what someone truly values is to put a serious amount of money up against those values.

My friend personally fired her client in a face-to-face meeting. She could have called. She could have written a letter. She could have exercised some clause in a contract. But she didn’t. She faces business challenges head on, and that is what makes her who she is. It’s also one of the things that make her a leader worth following.

She cares enough about her employees to protect them from a nightmare client. She cares enough about them, their well being, and their ability to do their best work, that she will personally fire a major client to protect them from harm. She doesn’t tell them to suck it up; she won’t allow them to be abused.

Any question as to why her employees love her? Any question as to why they will walk on hot coals to produce the results she needs for her clients? She loves her people, and she protects them from harm, even when money is at stake. She puts her people first, and they put their client’s first.

Questions

When are your values tested?

Have you ever had a client that tested your commitment to your values?

How do you deal with nightmare clients?

What’s the line that can’t be crossed before you move from trying to work things out to firing your nightmare client?


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Comments

comments

  • http://twitter.com/iSalesGirl IrreverentSalesGirl

    Anthony,

    Absolutely BRILLIANT. This is what I love about your posts. You are clear about what matters. You bring dignity to the art of doing business. You are a champion for the person who has their compass set to North.

    Thank you for your voice, your compassion, and your generosity – sharing it with the world.

    You remind us that we can be GREAT.

    Love your peeps UP!

    The Irreverent Sales Girl

  • http://twitter.com/profkrg Kenna Griffin

    Pinstripe,

    I am so glad that your friend fired this client. I just keep reading and thinking “She can’t let this happen!” I was glad to see that she didn’t.

    I haven’t ever been tested in this way by a client. However, I did have a salesman who was coming into the student newsroom I advise and making some of my female students feel very uncomfortable (just showing up, hanging around too long, asking a bunch of questions about current vendors, etc.). I sat him down, told him my concerns, informed him that we wouldn’t be doing business with him, and told him never to come back. I also informed our assistant and the students to call security if he did come back. I just could not allow for them to feel uncomfortable in their professional space.

    I would hope that employers would take equally stringent and swift actions in situations like this.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Kenna

  • http://twitter.com/nutscantique NadiaCSahe

    It happened to me before! I was account manager and i had a very hard core client. He complained about all services and product that we serviced him. And the worst one was when he called me at 8pm and i was already sleeping at home. I called him right after in the morning to apologize for not answering, but he was pissed and said “How could you sleep at 8pm while I am still working at 12pm every night??” Then he called my boss and complained about my “sleeping hours”. My boss said he had enough with the client which very handful but not worth to keep. He decided that it was his last project with us and I should not take his next project. I know that not all bosses can do that, so I appreciate mine very much.