As much as we all wish that each client we work with turns out to be a dream, we often need to come back down to reality and face the facts.
There are certain instances where clients simply need to be fired.
Sometimes, they’re unprofitable. Other times, they’re simply too painful to deal with.
Whatever the reason may be, getting rid of them should be done carefully and professionally.
There are three steps you can follow to make this a process and reduce the possibility of ending on negative terms:
1. Call the Client
An email or even worse, a text, does not suffice.
There may be a tendency to “get over with it” and relay the news in the least threatening way possible, but keep your professionalism at the forefront and give the client a call. This also reduces the chance of any miscommunication or misinterpretations.
2. Be Professional
Don’t make this personal. There’s no need to list off all the things you feel they’re doing wrong or why you need to fire. Keep the conversation objective. You can simply state that there isn’t the right fit based on what you provide and what they need. If you start listing off all the reasons they’re a pain to work with, you’ll simply be inviting confrontation.
3. Always Offer Options
You don’t want to leave the client in the middle of the sea with no lifeline.
Especially if the client is heavily dependent on your offering, it’s simply bad business to leave them hanging with no backup. Offer a list of other providers, perhaps even your competitors, who’d be better suited to work with them. Depending on your business structure and relationship with the client, you can also consider offering a phase-out timeline so that the client has a little more time on their side to find an alternative.
Be professional, be clear, and be courteous! Firing a client doesn’t have to be a negative experience!
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