7 years ago
February 21, 2017

How to Lose a Sales Client

In this article, we’ll cover four simple tactics that will send your sales client running to the competition.

Claire McConnachie Recruiter
Claire McConnachie

Losing a sales client isn’t always as easy as we would like. Maybe you or members of your team have a natural knack for building strong relationships, satisfying the customer, and keeping customers coming back for more. Fortunately, even if you suffer from such natural problems, it’s easy enough to lose a sales client if you put your mind to it. In this article, we’ll cover four simple tactics that will send your sales client running to the competition in no time flat-because really, who has the time for repeat customers?

Focus on Closing Sales Over Building Relationships. 

When you’re looking to lose a sales client, you want to start early. From the beginning of your first contact with the sales client, focus on the sale and nothing but the sale. High-pressure tactics and rushing to close will drive clients away like few other things. Even if they buy the first time, they’ll probably regret it; before you have to worry about repeat sales, your unwanted client will be long gone, looking to competitors that treat them better. If you take the time to get to know your prospects and build a relationship with them, you might never be rid of them. In fact, a strong enough customer relationship can keep clients on board even when the competition gets one up on you in price, feature set, etc. Brand loyalty’s no good when you’re trying to lose a sales client!

Stretch the Truth. 

If a sales client raises a legitimate issue, don’t give them a legitimate answer-that would require too much work. You’d have to be paying attention to how other clients dealt with the problem and be knowledgeable enough to help your customers out. That’s a lot of work-easier to just bend the truth to the breaking point. Telling a client that your solution will be ‘perfect out of the box’ when it won’t be will net you a sale AND lose you that sales client once they realize how full of it you are. For bonus points, you’ll damage your reputation with other clients and potential clients, so you can lose more and more moving forward.


Making it a pain for the sales client to interact with you and your company’s another great way to be rid of them. Labyrinthine ordering systems, incomprehensible customer service systems, and sales people that drag their feet at every step will go a long way in getting rid of your unwanted sales client. If they want to buy, it should be a major headache-after all, you have to work hard to sell to them, and shouldn’t they have to work hard to buy from you? It’s only fair, when you think about it. If they have a problem, resolving it should be a major headache-they’re probably the one that screwed up, anyway. In fact, you should just tell them that-they’re the problem, not the product.

Don’t Bother Following Up. 

Following up is boring and requires a bit more long-term memory than making nonstop cold calls to new prospects. It’s especially pointless to waste time calling someone if you’re not trying to immediately sell them something new-who cares if they’re satisfied with their product? If they’re not happy, they’ll leave you for the competition, and maybe complain to their friends, family, social media, or nationally read magazine about your product and sales service-and if your goal’s to lose sales clients, that’s how you do it. Negative word of mouth goes a long way in killing your customer base; current clients will become more attuned to problems and likely to bail and you’ll face an uphill battle turning any new prospect into a sales client. That’s real efficiency.

Claire McConnachie Recruiter

Claire McConnachie

Claire has 4+ years of experience in sales and recruitment. As a Director of Client Services, her main objective is to connect great people to great companies by building strong relationships with both top clients and candidates in the sales industry. She specializes in sales roles of all seniority levels for both enterprise and start-up clients North American wide. When Claire isn't networking with top talent, she enjoys being outdoors, traveling and spending time with friends & family.