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Stop chasing “sexy” customers

I just stumbled on a YouTube video of Susan Boyle, the overweight, dowdy singer that shocked the judges of Britain’s You’ve Got Talent TV show with her spectacular voice.  The judges were openly derisive before she performed, and gave her a standing ovation afterward.  The video is touching–watch it, even if you aren’t into music or TV.

In explaining the surprise,  Colette Douglas Home, a writer for The Herald in the UK says

Only the pretty are expected to achieve. Not only do you have to be physically appealing to deserve fame; it seems you now have to be good-looking to merit everyday common respect.

How often do we chase after the “sexy” customers–those who work for the upper echelon companies, those that have the greatest story to tell, or those who are constantly in the news–hoping that our star might rise with them?

Nearly every company I work with has their marquis accounts, and most all of these are unprofitable and should be jettisoned.  They are kept because of their “sexiness” and people put up with all kinds of abuses because of their status as a marquis account.  Some of my clients have actually improved profitability as a result of letting a particularly bad customer go.

Look beyond the “sexy” customers.  Find those customers that truly value what you have to offer.  Find those hidden and extremely profitable customers that really deserve what you have to offer–and are willing to pay you appropriately.  You’ll be more profitable and your employees will be happier for not having to deal with bad behavior that so many marquis accounts exhibit.