3 Ways the Customer Isn’t Always Right (And When It’s Fine for A Salesman to Sack Them)


If your job is to take orders from prospects, then the customer is always right. You better learn to keep your mouth shut until you get home to vent.

If you’re a professional salesman who is personally adding value to your customers then you shouldn’t accept the following –


1) When a customer lies

Paying for a service does not mitigate a customer from the obligation of being honest.

I had a customer lie in the past and pretend that they were not happy with the product they’d bought. They tried and secure a discount on a future order and free upgrade in the mean time.

Losing a few pounds to keep them happy, not a big deal right?

When it’s £150,000 of surgical equipment and the margin is only around 20% it becomes a big deal.

This is both narrow minded (if someone is screwing a company that they rely on to ensure the safety of their surgical procedures, what are they going to do when you sack them?) and is verging on fraud.

Fraud: “wrongful or criminal deception intended to result in financial or personal gain”

In the real world I will admit, it’s perhaps OK to bend the rules occasionally. We’re all fighting to thrive and business is dog eat dog.

However customers that have actively lied to me in the past, got sacked.


2) When a customer uses you

Customers that deceive you to leverage your time/expertise/assets when they’re not planning to pay for them should be sacked.

With the success of my book ‘Internet Selling’ I quickly learned that corporations are happy to invite you in with the promise of a consulting opportunity, spend a day racking your brain and then short-cutting you to and implement the ideas themselves.

Both times this has happened I’ve been brought back in to clear up the mess that was made (and I charged them 50% more for the privilege).

I then sacked one of these businesses midway through a project because they continued to try and screw me around.

It’s important to have an abundant mindset and know that there is plenty more business out there.

As the role of the salesman continues become that of a consultant rather than a closer, the ability to pick the right customers will become more and more important.


3) When a customer is disrespectful

Everyone has bad days. When your customer was short on the phone earlier you weren’t to know that their dog had been run over or their daughter has run away to the army that morning.

That said, there is no valid reason for a customer should be intentionally rude.

If a customer is rude to you, it’s a safe bet that they’re not nice to their customers. Do you want to be in business with someone who is going to struggle to keep their own doors open?

Sack ‘em.


Will Barron is the founder of Salesman.Red and host of the Salesman Podcast where he entertains hundreds of thousands of millennial salespeople every month. If he isn't recording or editing shows he's racing his RX8 or riding bicycles down mountains.

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