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How to FIRE a Client!

Your Fired

In case you missed the last blog post, 3 Signs That a Client COULD COST YOU MONEY!, here are my tips on how to fire that client!

1. Take Off Your Rose-Colored Glasses: A business relationship is similar to dating. We meet, fall in love, and then co-exist happily ever after. WRONG. Similar to dating, not every relationship lasts forever. And not every client is right for you.

2. Know When Enough is Enough: There is a honeymoon phase in business. It’s that special time when your client is excited and eager to pay for your hard work. Unfortunately, over time some clients can take you for granted. They want the sun, the moon, and the stars. But they’re only willing to pay for a shooting star or two.

Then there are clients who think whining and complaining is the only way to communicate. Unless you’re a saint, they will rattle your nerves very quickly.

Sometimes you simply outgrow a client. For example, in the beginning you may have provided generic solutions, but as your experience increased so did your skills. As a result, you’re now ready to take on bigger jobs and contracts − for bigger fees!

Unless you want to stay stuck in any of these dead-end relationships, you need to know when enough is enough.

3. Craft a Loving Good-Bye Message: Who hasn’t heard this line, “I think we should just be friends.” Ouch! The reality is that saying good-bye can be painful. The other reality is that the way you end one relationship sets the tone for all other relationships. You need to choose your words wisely!

Here’s a great exit strategy technique. Use the sandwich approach to formulate your good-bye message. It’s easy to do. You simply start and end your communication with good news. Then you sandwich the ‘good-bye’ message in between the two feel-good messages.

Check out this example:

Good News: “It’s been great working with you [being able to contribute to your success, serving your account…]. During this time, our business has grown and we are moving in a new direction.

Good-Bye Message: “As a result, we are unable to continue to offer you the same services [prices, terms…].

Good News: “To meet your future needs we recommend the following vendors… [companies, suppliers…]. Thank you again for your patronage [business]. We wish you all the best in the future.

Yes, breaking up can be hard to do. However, when you say good-bye to one client you make room for another. This time you can work with your ideal client!

Hi, I’m Kelly McCormick, a Business Growth and Marketing Strategist. I help entrepreneurs & companies to identify opportunities for growth. Plus, I develop targeted branding, marketing & sales strategies. I can help you too!

4 Responses to “How to FIRE a Client!”

  1. Nikola N. says:

    Hi Kelly [long time no see:]. The two blog spots seem to be almost made for photographers, a profession in transition these days, full of opportunities and exciting new perils;). I’ve learned the hard way over the last few years the need to be firm & confident in my worth & price, skills & ability to find work, and the reality that not every client that contacts me should be the client I end up working with.

    Incidentally, a humorous video on client/vendor relationship that says a lot of it:

    • Kelly says:

      Hi Nikola,

      I couldn’t agree more. Not every client is the right client. In my experience, the people who are most the successful have the courage to work the ‘right’ client. It can take guts to turn business down, but it can pay off in the long run. Btw, thanks for the video link. I LOL when I watched it.

  2. Mike says:

    My first time here. Loved this post! Thanks for tackling this potentially sensitive topic. I was mentored by some great CEOs who often talked about “pruning” your customers so the company would remain healthy. Experience has often demonstrated that removing an energy-draining or malcontent client produces a lift in the rest of the organization.
    Good stuff and I look forward to following you.

    • Kelly says:

      Hi Mike,

      Thanks for your positive feedback about the post. And I agree, ” removing an energy-draining or malcontent client produces a lift in the rest of the organization.”

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