Losing a solid customer can be devastating to your team and your bottom line. It’s especially difficult when you think things are running smoothly and you don’t notice the warning signs that your customer is about to part ways with you. Customers leave for all kinds of reasons-they might be unhappy with your service or pricing, or they simply may want to go in a different direction.

Before your customers bail, Jeff Hoffman, award-winning sales author and presenter, says it’s critical to look for the telltale signs that they might be a flight risk. We share Hoffman’s insights in this issue of Promotional Consultant Today.

1. Your primary point of contact starts delegating tasks to other people. You’ve been working with a customer for a fair amount of time and suddenly, out of seemingly nowhere, your main point of contact drops off your calls. Instead, they’re sending their colleagues or other team members to meetings you request, and delegating messages and tasks to anyone but themselves. Hoffman says this is a bad sign. Your main point of contact is delegating tasks to others because he or she feels uncomfortable and embarrassed. They know they’re going to drop you as a vendor or they’re not going to renew their contract. They feel awkward about it, so they send others to deal with you and your product.

2. They have a mild response to a feature or pricing change. When clients respond to news of a cost-related change with a shoulder shrug, it’s a sign they’re probably going to leave. They might show dislike for the changes, but it will likely be mild and not an angry outburst. Hoffman says indifference is far more dangerous than a passionate reaction. If the client reacts in an unshaken manner, you probably have a problem.

3. They stop responding to you. While you shouldn’t fret if a customer is late to respond, when you get no response at all, you should be wary that your customer is no longer interested. Hoffman says if you sent an email two weeks ago and didn’t get a response, and then you send another email and do hear back, it could be an indicator that they’re planning on leaving or not renewing. The idea that it takes you multiple attempts to get an answer shows they are not prioritizing your communication. This indicates that their focus and attention is elsewhere and that they are potentially evaluating a replacement provider.

4. They don’t ask you for anything. When you finish a conversation with a customer, and they don’t ask you for anything, this customer is at risk. Hoffman says engaged customers will always want something, whether it’s information, consulting, products or something else. When the conversation ends and they don’t ask for anything, consider it a warning sign.

While you can’t read a customer’s mind or prevent customer churn entirely, you can watch for the signals that your client is no longer invested in you or your offering.

Source: Jeff Hoffman is the author of the award-winning Basho Email, Your SalesMBA® and “Why You? Why You Now?”® sales programs. He has delivered sold-out presentations to thousands of sales professionals across the globe.