The Difficult Tax

There are the customers, friends, people we interact with where everything is seamless enjoyable and we walk away wanting more.

This is not about those relationships. This is about the people who take energy from you.

It is either Dan Sullivan or Verne Harnish who says that there are 2 types of activities, those that give you energy, and those that suck energy from you. The same can be said of people and relationships.

If we are faced with a person or situation we don’t want to deal with, we have a few options:

  • Treat the situation the same as all others
  • Choose not to do it (See Seth Godin’s Post)
  • Add a Difficult Tax

I love the idea of saying no to all customers I don’t want to deal with, but I am also very much aware of times in my business where that wasn’t an option for a possible variety of reasons. In the short term, art sometimes needs to be done for the paying client.

The difficult tax is a price that is paid by a customer for being difficult. This could be a line item of 10% / 15% / 40% as much as you want to offset the frustration or damage that you feel the customer will cause you or the organization.

Difficult does not mean you necessarily dislike the customer, perhaps it is demands, or timing or increase of time it takes to service the customer. There is always the tradeoff.

What are the things you are underpricing and think should be changed?

Let that bounce around your head and make changes when you can, there are often opportunities we don’t take because we don’t speak up.




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