Customers To Cull And How To Do It

Readers give their advice on which clients they'd drop and how to least painfully break the news

THERE IT IS. That sinking feeling that accompanies the realization that for whatever reason, you might have to tell a client that you can’t shoe for him or her anymore and you don’t want to make an enemy.

Readers have given us their advice on deciding who to cull and how to break off the business relationship cleanly.

Who To Cut?

“Rude people, the once-a-year customer and people who don’t care about my safety or working with their horse to improve its behavior.”

—Doug Bellamy, Rock, W.V.

“Clients with bad-mannered horses.”

—Kevin McMinn, Allentown, N.J.

“People that are impractically far away, change farriers often and call me every few shoeings or pay slowly, with bad checks or not at all.”

—Joel D. Hunt, Archdale, N.C.

“Clients at barns with terrible working conditions.”

—Sandy McBeath, Union, Miss.

“People who don’t respect me and my profession or are unwilling to discuss new theories and treatment options for optimal performance.”

—Susy Petit, Willis, Mich.

Breaking The News

“Say ‘I don’t feel comfortable shoeing for you anymore.’ This keeps you from criticizing the owner, horse or conditions and leaves them with no feelings hurt. Or say that you physically or mentally need to cut back on the number of horses you shoe. This can get you out of a lot of situations.”

—Edward R. Zook, Olathe, Kan.

“Tell them that larger accounts are demanding too much of your time, you’re consolidating clients into a smaller area and/or…

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Christy West

Christy West is a freelance writer and the Web site editor for The Horse. She is also a former editor of American Farriers Journal.

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