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We ordered grilled sardines at a wonderful tapas restaurant and our waiter told us not to get them because they weren’t very good. How often does this happen? Usually waiters and waitresses tell you that everything is really good. Every dish is one of their favorites.

We were tourists, the waiter knew it, didn’t know if we’d ever be back and still gave us the honest answer. How many businesses do this? How many of us do this? Too often we take any customer or client that comes along.

I tell people buying a business that the only thing worse than no deal is a bad deal. I tell business sellers they need to look at more than just the price. You have to get paid too and an unqualified buyer can ruin your future. The same is true for customers. A bad customer can ruin your day, week, month or more. They distract you from more profitable work or eat up your personal time.

Screen your customers and clients as thoroughly as you screen people you are going to pay for a product or service. The only thing worse than no customer (or client) is a bad customer.

“There seems to be some perverse human characteristic that likes to make the easy things difficult.” Warren Buffett

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