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April 6, 2006

Angles and Devils

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ryan Jones @ 12:00 am

It’s been a long time since Best Buy CEO Brad Anderson game his “angels and devils” speech. In fact, I was even an employee of Best Buy at the time, and it made a lot of sense.

But Brad Anderson is wrong. While he is right that some customers are more profitable than others, his method of only appealing to the good customers is flawed.

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At first glance it makes sense to cater to the profitable customers while shunning the less profitable customers, but that’s not looking at the big picture. It’s time for Brad to think outside the box.

The question to ask is “How can I turn those devils into angels?”

The reason they’re not profitable, is because you’re letting them be. Find out what they want, and provide it for them in a way that’s profitable. That’s what business is about.

If you’re read Business2.0 this month, you’ll see that Wells Fargo CEO Dick Kovacevich understands this idea, and he’s one of the only profitable bank stocks out there.

High schools don’t stop teaching the C students, they help them change. So, if you have unprofitable customers, figure out why, and do something to make them profitable… Don’t just shun them.

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