Oh yes, the good times loss leaders provide, I've been there and learned that customers come and go, and so do we...
Hence I can say this much:
- Always charge at least what the job is worth (more if you have to). This way, WHEN they hire someone else to do whatever, it doesn't burn nearly as bad. You may still get a bit flustered, but eventually it could get to the point where you are earning SO much that they can call whoever they want because it just doesn't matter to you anymore... And this brings up:
- Never give a discount or a better rate based on the hopes of future business.
- Don't bend over backwards any further for a high roller than you would for anyone else, because it's not fair to you and to the rest of your loyal, well paying customers (and not to be mean, but this is where we tend to bring it on, what this next point explains):
- Pre-screening (watching for red flags) helps. Anytime someone wants to donate to your cause (throw you a bone), it is at this point you may already wish to reconsider the relationship in addition to refining your own methods: In some cases, customers can't be helped from thinking what they are going to think anyhow, but in other cases we tend to bring it on ourselves, too.
Hope that helps, don't throw in the towel, you've hardly gotten away from the starting line, it is far from over
p.s.: A loss leader can be defined in many ways, but in this context it is defined as something that leads us to loss and loss is losely defined as something that is not good for either ourselves or the business, whether financial or otherwise.