Blake Snow

content advisor, recognized journalist, bodacious writer-for-hire

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How to respond to really demanding customers: “We’re full”

My wife started and runs a successful soccer club of 14 youth teams. Now in their second year, they’ve done really well because they charge little more than recreational fees for a league that’s a lot more competitive, without the expensive time and money commitments of “club soccer.”

After opening registration this summer, she had more than enough players sign up. That’s what you get when you run a well-organized event with lots of value. Last week, however, she received a long-winded email from a demanding mother that listed out several line items she required before registration. She went on and on, my wife said.

In response, my wife kindly but briefly wrote, “Thanks for asking. We’re full this year. Please consider us again.”

My wife instinctively understood that this woman might cause more headaches than her $200 registration fee was worth.

The same is true of any business. If someone seems like they’d be a difficult customer, they probably will be and should best be avoided through a polite “No thanks,” or “I’m busy.”

In rare cases where you provide a custom quote, you might try to “price them out,” that is only work with them for an amount that you estimate would be worth the added headaches.

Both approaches have served me well and really help the free market shine, for sellers as much as buyers.