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Social Media Marketing for Business

Dennis Yu


February 1, 2013

Headaches? Fire your worst clients!

February 1, 2013 | By | 6 Comments">6 Comments

You havee probably heard of freetards and “wantrepreneurs”, people who want your services free or to haggle you to that point.

Pro tip– walk away. The clients who pay the most are the ones who are easiest to service. And it’s always the smallest clients that are the neediest.

fire your worst clients

You’re probably nodding your head right now. And you know the right answer– fire these folks so you can focus on the clients who love you. They value your expertise and time.

And you’ll make more money, if you have the guts to fire the bad ones. You know the ones I’m talking about.

Let me give you a hand:

“Mr. Smith– We want to thank you for being a client with us while we’ve grown. We’ve shifted our company’s direction and we’re just not a fit for you. Here are some other agencies that we’d recommend…”

The “we are not a fit for you” is better than the “you are not a fit for us”. You’re saying that it’s about you, not them– even if they are needy, hard to work with, and don’t pay.

At the same time, you’ll never need to sell again. Practice inbound marketing to get folks to come to you by establishing authority in your subject area.

The traditional “sales-minded” thinking is that you should close as many deals as you can– more cold calls with a higher close rate means more revenue.


You are a pro in your field. Choose who you want to work with. If you’re not saying no enough or firing bad clients, you are saying no to the good clients that love you.

Think about how much time you waste on sales calls, advertising, RFPs, or whatever. You could be spending that time delighting clients.

Are you afraid you won’t have enough business if you do this? The opposite will happen. And your staff will breathe a sigh of relief– yes, they and you know very well who these people are.

Raise your prices so that you can properly serve your good clients. You are not McDonalds trying to serve billions and billions.

Here’s one last technique that will save you a ton of time.

You do need to spend enough time to qualify yourself, to explain your services, but not enough to do a bunch of free consulting. There are wanna-be clients who will try to take your free consulting as far as they can, until you eventually say, “Hey– you can have one free sample, but come on, buddy!”

So do this: give them 20 minutes. After that, say that we can continue, but you need a token $1k to do further analysis. This instantly qualifies if they’re just trying to get your time for free or don’t have budget authority. Any major brand can authorize this and will respect your time.

If you have enough info on your site or across partners, you’ll not even need to continue repeating the basics of what you do over and over and over.

So tell me: How much time do you spend selling, complaining, and wasting your valuable time vs delighting your clients?

Put these techniques into place and you’ll make more money in less time, plus be far happier.



Dennis Yu is the Chief Technology Officer of BlitzMetrics, a digital marketing company which partners with schools to train young adults.

Dennis’s program centers around mentorship, helping students grow their expertise to manage social campaigns for enterprise clients like the Golden State Warriors, Nike, and Rosetta Stone.

He’s an internationally recognized lecturer in Facebook Marketing and has spoken in 17 countries, spanning 5 continents, including keynotes at L2E, Gultaggen, and Marketo Summit.

Dennis has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, LA Times, National Public Radio, TechCrunch, Fox News, CBS Evening News and is co-author of Facebook Nation – a textbook taught in over 700 colleges and universities.

He’s a regular contributor for Adweek’s SocialTimes column and has published in Social Media Examiner, Social Media Club, Tweak Your Biz, B2C, Social Fresh, and Heyo.

He held leadership positions at Yahoo! and American Airlines and studied Finance and Economics at Southern Methodist University as well as London School of Economics. He ran collegiate cross-country at SMU and has competed in over 20 marathons including a 70 mile ultramarathon.

Besides being a Facebook data and ad geek, you can find him eating chicken wings or playing Ultimate Frisbee in a city near you.

You can contact him at, his blog, or on Facebook.