Firing customers: The theory of next

March 6, 2014

By Joe Harford, Reclamere founder

Yes, you read the title of this post correctly. We’re going to have a conversation about firing customers, a concept that many of you are probably not only unfamiliar with, but you are most likely very uncomfortable with as well. However, at Reclamere, we have found that “The Theory of Next”, as we like to call it, has opened the door to larger profits, something that I know all of you are interested in.

“The Theory of Next” is not a complex concept; it simply means that not every customer is going to be a good fit for your business. It is important that, while our natural inclination is to focus on profits and bottom lines, we understand clearly how spending time with a customer that isn’t a good fit can have an unintended impact on profitability. At Reclamere, this meant identifying and focusing only on customers that saw the value in our level of professionalism and our security qualifications so that we could focus primarily on those.

When I first founded Reclamere, I would never have thought of firing any customer – I was afraid that I would never make enough money and would go bankrupt. The secret is that you must have focused leadership, courage, good data, and the willingness to make mistakes. I am not advocating that anyone should take the idea of firing a customer lightly, but rather this should be approached in a thoughtful and planned manner.

I’ll discuss the concept in greater depth at my NAID 2014 Annual Conference session April 5 at 10 a.m.