Toxic Client: Knowing and Avoiding the Problem Customer


There is a question business owners should ask themselves every day. “Is the customer always right?” Most owners want to believe customers are right and spend countless hours trying to please them. This is fine and not a problem unless they are dealing with a Toxic Client. This is a client who will quickly become their “biggest challenge.” This client will “set them back in a significant way, not pay their invoices and could cost a small fortune to finally get rid of them.” If only there were a way to read the customer before getting sucked into their abyss? Corporate business author and attorney, Garrett Sutton says there is a way to do just that. He has written Toxic Client-Knowing and Avoiding the Problem Customer, specifically to help business owners and entrepreneurs to recognize who may be toxic and avoid the agonizing process of dealing with them to the exclusion of their good clients.

Garrett Sutton is a nationally acclaimed corporate attorney and expert who has coached, guided and helped entrepreneurs and investors to be successful for over 30 years. He has written many business books. In his latest one, Toxic Client-Knowing and Avoiding the Problem Customer, Sutton educates even the most naïve entrepreneur or business owner in the very definition of what a Toxic Client is, how to spot them and what to do about them from the beginning. Sutton disagrees with, “The customer is always right” approach. He disagrees, but suggest using professionalism to reasonably accommodate them to resolve the issue, however, if that doesn’t work, the customer is not to be catered to. They are moved to the Toxic Client category. There they are dealt with on different terms. He offers the reader many personal stories and case study details to equip them with all they need to confidently deal with a Toxic client. Dealing with them quickly and effectively will allow a business owner to concentrate instead on the “twenty percent of their good clients or customers who actually provide eighty percent of their revenues.” With practice, Sutton encourages the business owner, they can stay focused on this group and consistently avoid the client that will only drain them emotionally and financially.

Sutton’s advice includes listening and paying attention to that “still small voice, trusting one’s instincts, knowing that people lie, have mental health issues and get addicted to drugs and alcohol. Some people are narcissistic and just plain feel entitled to impose their exaggerated demands on others. These troubled customers are toxic and they need to be avoided or dismissed in professional ways. The author teaches his readers how to swiftly and effectively take control of the situation. Each chapter is expertly written and goes straight to the heart of the matter. This book is informative, compelling and an encouraging read for all types of business owners.