The When and How of Firing a Client
We really like our clients. And it might seem strange but that is important to us. We spend a lot of time with our clients and become invested in their success. When we have issues with clients, it really bothers us. We do everything we can to solve the problems but sometimes there is no fixing differences in ideals. Firing a client is never an easy decision, but sometimes it becomes necessary to maintain the values that are the core beliefs of your business.
Here are some steps to follow before you fire a client: (you will feel better knowing that you did everything you could- and your client will too!)
- Evaluate the situation: Take the time to assess the situation and determine why you want to fire the client. It could be because of difficult behavior, late payments, or a lack of cooperation.
- Have a conversation: Schedule a meeting or call with the client to discuss your concerns. Be direct, clear, and specific about the issues you’ve identified. Try to remain professional and avoid becoming emotional. Can it be fixed? Or is it something that will not change?
- Offer alternatives: If appropriate, suggest alternative solutions that could help resolve the issues, such as changing the scope of work or adjusting the terms of your agreement.
- Document the conversation: Follow up with a summary of the conversation in an email. Include any agreements made during the meeting or call. This documentation can be important if any disputes arise in the future.
- Provide a formal notice: If you decide to move forward with ending the business relationship, provide a formal disengagement letter to the client. Be clear and specific about the reasons for termination, how information will be passed and the date on which the relationship will end.
- Be professional: It’s important to remain professional and courteous throughout the process. Avoid burning bridges, as the client may become a potential referral source or return customer in the future.
Remember, firing a client should always be a last resort. If possible, try to resolve any issues and maintain a positive relationship. However, if the relationship becomes too difficult or damaging to your business, it may be necessary to part ways, but make sure you try to leave the relationship on good terms. It will benefit both parties.