How to Fire Customers and Make More Money

Do the Math and You Will Quickly See Why It Is Time to Fire Customers and Make More Money


Face it.  Your time is incredibly valuable.  Let’s cut to the chase and do a couple of quick calculations:

  1. Tally up  your total overhead costs (salary, utilities, rent, supplies, equipment, licences, etc…) for one week.
  2. Next, add up the total revenues earned last week (include sales or commission, pro-rated fees, other revenue).
  3. Subtract OVERHEAD out of REVENUE.
  4. Divide that number by the total number of truly productive meetings you held last week.

What you are left with is the true average result of each meeting last week.   As a formula, the calculation looks like this:



In my experience of working with thousands of business people seeking the mythical “silver bullet” to success, I have found that most people are less than honest with themselves about how good of a job they are doing.  Many of the financial professionals I have known over the years are some of the worst offenders.  It is very easy to make oneself appear “busy“.  The truly successful, however, focus on being “productive“.

It Isn’t Always About The Money

Who deserves your time and attention?  Certainly, your family and friends are in that category.  Your best clients should be as well.  That’s why you need to fire some of them.

Several years ago, there was a gentleman who chose to invest a significant amount of his retirement money with me.  We discussed a strategy that was appropriate for someone of his risk-tolerance, considered his expected number of years until retirement, other investments he held, and he agreed to open an account where he would pay me on a fee-basis rather than paying a commission on purchases or sales in his account.  He was particularly fond of the fact that his interests (growing the value of his account) were aligned with mine (the greater the value of the account, the greater the dollars I would earn as his investment advisor).  There was only one problem.  As soon as we opened his account and transferred in the cash, he forgot what we had discussed.  He froze up.  He wouldn’t agree on any of my recommendations and wouldn’t allow me to put the money to work in the markets.  That said, he was paying me fees (see “REVENUE” above) in return for my time.  The problem was, I was spending hours trying to track him down on the phone, attempting to catch him at his office, and discussing with him what we needed to do for his account.  In the end, despite the fact he was paying me to not take my advice, I had to fire him as a client. It was the best move I could have made.

What’s In It For You?

Donald Trump ApprenticeFreeing yourself from the binds of a customer or client who only wants your advice and attention, but remains unwilling or unable to act upon it, is an amazing experience.  Sometimes you have to fire customers. Once you do, you’ll wonder why you did not fire them earlier.  Suddenly, you have more time to tend to the the accounts with whom you have great relationships–The clients who take your advice.  The ones most likely to give you leads and referrals (the ultimate endorsement from a client) to help you be more successful.  You’ll have less stress, more enjoyment for the job you do, and maybe…just maybe…make more money.

Now, it’s time to call that customer and tell them, “It’s not you…It’s me!”

Leave a “Client, You’re Fired” story or other great practice growth tip in the Comment section below!

2 Replies to “How to Fire Customers and Make More Money”

  1. Scott, this story made my day. I continue to remind folks even in non-profit sometimes it is not a good fit and your time is valuable. Plus it typically leads to a customer or donor-complaint. In non-profit it is called “bless and release” . Great advice, pr

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