All Customers ARE NOT worth Selling To, An In-Depth Look at High Maintenance versus Low Maintenance Customers – The Urban Farmer – Season 2 – Week 17

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Imagine I walk up to your farmer’s market booth, I buy a single bunch of radishes, a tiny transaction, I take them, I eat one, I then I tell you how much your radishes suck.

How are you going to feel – pissed, hurt, defensive, sad…not good.

Now imagine in the same day, either before this radish incident or after, another customer who has never bought from you comes up and buys $200 worth of product and says they’ll be back next week to buy more.

At the end of the day which one is going to be holding a bigger share of your mind – the $3 negative transaction or the $200 positive one?

I am willing to bet, that for most people it’s the $3 negative transaction. The reason that I am confident in that bet is because of the way that brain is wired…

To explain this scientifically let’s go to a NY Times article titled:

Praise Is Fleeting, but Brickbats We Recall by Alina Tugend:

“This is a general tendency for everyone,” said Clifford Nass, a professor of communication at Stanford University. “Some people do have a more positive outlook, but almost everyone remembers negative things more strongly and in more detail.”

There are physiological as well as psychological reasons for this.

“The brain handles positive and negative information in different hemispheres,” said Professor Nass, who co-authored “The Man Who Lied to His Laptop: What Machines Teach Us About Human Relationships” (Penguin 2010). Negative emotions generally involve more thinking, and the information is processed more thoroughly than positive ones, he said. Thus, we tend to ruminate more about unpleasant events — and use stronger words to describe them — than happy ones.

Roy F. Baumeister, a professor of social psychology at Florida State University, captured the idea in the title of a journal article he co-authored stated… “Bad emotions, bad parents and bad feedback have more impact than good ones. Bad impressions and bad stereotypes are quicker to form and more resistant to disconfirmation than good ones.”

So Professor Baumeister and his colleagues note, losing money, being abandoned by friends and receiving criticism will have a greater impact than winning money, making friends or receiving praise.

In an experiment in which participants gained or lost the same amount of money, for instance, the distress participants expressed over losing the money was greater than the joy that accompanied the gain.

“Put another way, you are more upset about losing $50 than you are happy about gaining $50,” the paper states.  In addition, bad events wear off more slowly than good ones.”

Hopefully know this can help you do a few things. Try to force yourself to really think about the positive things more and have more gratitude for them, bounce off of the negative situations quicker, and rid yourself of the negative relationships that produce negative emotions.

That’s the focus of today’s episode as we explore the differences between high maintenance customers and low maintenance customers…

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High Maintenance versus Low Maintenance Customers:

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  • Don’t discount the mental side of things. 
    • Negative relationships can outweigh positive sales.High Maintenance Customers: takes a lot of work to place orders, get paid, change orders, wants excessive details, wants ultra specifics, is demanding, or is just disrespectful.
  • High maintenance low sales customers chew up time.  
    • And often time is more precious than capital in business situations.  So if the pay is low and the time commitment is high, it isn’t always worth it.
  • High Maintenance Customers with Low Sales:
    • More work, more complaints, more time for less dollars.
      • What you do is never good enough.
    • Takes away time from servicing your better customers.
    • Takes away time from you producing a better product, now or in the future.
    • Takes away flex time which you could use to do research or try things.
    • More time for less sales.
    • Take up time with no agenda, just want to chat.
    • Takes up time outside of accepted hours.
    • Adds stress that can carry over to good customers.
    • Spreading out your liability for less upside.
    • Have to push and prod to get an order from them.
  • Low Maintenance Customers with More Sales:
    • Usually complain less and are less picky.
      • Buy 100lbs of greens they aren’t going to micromanage it.  They have a busy restaurant.
    • They do bigger sales.
      • Which means you want to try to get more of their business if possible.
  • Selecting the right customers at the beginning might be hard.  As you get established you will get better at it.
  • Kill the negative relationships.  It’s not worth it in the long run.
    • At some point the dollar value of the sale crosses the line of this isn’t worth it.  What number is that for you?
  • You may be able to qualify customers out of the gait to help ensure you get better customers down the line.


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The Urban Farmer by Curtis Stone

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The Urban Farmer by Curtis Stone

The Urban Farmer is a comprehensive, hands-on, practical manual to help you learn the techniques and business strategies you need to make a good living growing high-yield, high-value crops right in your own backyard (or someone else’s).

Major benefits include:

  • Low capital investment and overhead costs
  • Reduced need for expensive infrastructure
  • Easy access to markets

Growing food in the city means that fresh crops may travel only a few blocks from field to table, making this innovative approach the next logical step in the local food movement.

Based on a scalable, easily reproduced business model, The Urban Farmer is your complete guide to minimizing risk and maximizing profit by using intensive production in small leased or borrowed spaces.


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Connect with Curtis Stone

Watch Curtis on YouTube

Green City Acres on Facebook

Green City Acres on Instagram

The Urban Farmer Book by Curtis Stone

Profitable Urban Farming – The Course

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If you want to learn more about Curtis Stone and urban farming, then check out Curtis’ book, The Urban Farmer, and his course, Profitable Urban Farming.

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