Does Your Account List Need Some Spring Cleaning?

When the spring sunlight shines on your account list, what do you see? If your list is cluttered with junk, it may be time to clean some of the bad stuff out.

Salespeople should clean out the crap

Photo by djedzura/Adobe Stock

If you’ve been at this for more than a year, you’ve got some junk in your sales trunk.

Clients who love to pick your brain but never buy. High-maintenance accounts who spend small dollars. People who once seemed like great prospects, but turned out to have no money, no authority to buy, or no interest.

As Nellie Akalp points out on, “Not every client is a good one.

The emotional, physical, and mental drain caused by a bad client relationship can keep you from enjoying your job and negatively impact the work you do for other clients. At times, the best way to grow your business is to let go of those clients who are holding you back.

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Before the year gets away from you, put the gloves on and grab some shears. It’s time to prune a few things out:

1. That little account that makes you drive out to the store once a month to pick up a check. Yes, they’re nice people — but every time you drive out there, you’re losing money. Wish them well and move on.

2. The rate grinder who plays every station against each other and  is always complaining that your station — out of all the ones he uses — is the only one that doesn’t work. Every time he calls, you have to throw more free spots at him to keep him from cancelling. He’s doing this to everybody. Dump him.

3. The slow payer. If they can’t pay within 90 days, let them be someone else’s chargeback.

4. The client who won’t plan in advance, doesn’t return your calls when you need approval on copy, and is constantly forcing you and your production staff to drop everything and scramble. High maintenance should equal high dollars. Unless they are spending A LOT of money with you, you’re better off without them.

5. Look with a jaundiced eye at any account that hasn’t bought something you in the past 12 months. Why are they still on your list? Unless something significant is about to change over there, consider the possibility that they’re just not that into you.

Here’s your sales advice for the week: pick three from that list and make them go away.

  • Give them to a rookie who will appreciate them.
  • See if your manager has something decent to swap.
  • Quietly take your name off the account in the station CRM and just stop calling. For extra fun, tear up their business card.

Use the time you save to go after new business that makes you happy, and makes you money. It’s addition by subtraction.

Question: What’s the worst account you’ve ever had? How did you get rid of it? You can leave a comment by clicking here.



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