Firing the customer

Every now and then you just have to fire a customer. There could be many reasons but usually it is because they are either not honest or truthful or just a doofus.

One such story happened years ago on a hotel we were selling in Gatlinburg, TN, for an important client. The buyer and his equity investor were spending the night and touring the hotel in Gatlinburg. We are usually at showings but this was one on a weekend where the general manager just handled the showing for us.

We were at our lake house and I get this call from my client. The client proceeded to tell me what the buyer had done at his property. Apparently that evening, the buyer ran up a $300 bar tab and decided he would make a pass at one of the hotel’s female employees. Well to summarize the event, it proceeded beyond a pass and ended up that the buyer and this employee ran around all the bases, including home plate (if you know what I mean). AND they were seen by other employees at the hotel.

When I ended the call with my client I got this boneheaded buyer on the phone. I will not tell you in this blog post what I said to that buyer, but needless to say, he left that hotel at that moment and was never welcomed again by our company. When we talked on that call, I left zero questions as to what was going to happen. Of course the buyer has his side of the story that he wanted to tell me, but let’s just say there was not a gap in the conversation. I was doing all the talking.

The funny thing was, the next time I saw him a few years later was at my daughter’s college graduation from Samford University (a Christian college) because his daughter was graduating at the same time. Ha. He saw me across the room and I saw him. Let’s just say he knew better than to come over to me and my family.

The point is you do not have to be all things to all people and allow a customer to mistreat you. There is a standard acceptable guideline of behavior that must be maintained at all times. This bonehead stepped way over the line of acceptable behavior and that behavior probably costs him very dearly in the economic sense because he lost my respect and trust. Sometimes you just have to choose who you do business with because life is too short to be involved with a person that could hurt your reputation and your business. KT

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *