As a consulting firm, we find most clients to be a pleasure to work with, but sometimes you end up with a client so difficult that, to protect your time, reputation, and your company, you need to politely fire them. Here’s how to fire a client as painlessly as possible so you can get back to business.
No one wants to fire a client. They pay us money, they have interesting projects, and sometimes they become our friends. Then there’s the other kind of client; the one who is such a nightmare to work with that your business starts to lose money and morale.
Valid Reasons For When To Fire A Client
- Lack of communication
- No acknowledgment of expertise
- Unconstructive, hostile, or offensive criticism
- Unethical business practices
- Unwillingness to share frustrations
- Unreasonable expectations
- Inability to afford services
Plan Your Exit Strategy
Step 1: Get Involved
If you are the owner, have a hands-on approach, gather, and document as much information as you can to protect your brand. Determine how you can reduce your workload with the client so there won’t be much left to complete in order to complete your relationship with them. Start turning down any new assignments and decline to sign a new contract.
Step 2: Don’t talk yourself out of it.
Many business owners are concerned to fire a client for fear of a negative effect on their business reputation but remind yourself that the time you will save not dealing with their nonsense will open up an opportunity to find and secure an ideal client who will pay you more and, more importantly, treat you better. In addition, think about the example you are setting for your employees, an example that will make them feel company pride and feel valued if they were involved in any of the negative dealings.
Step 3: Write a professional letter
It’s important to let your client know in writing that you do not plan to continue the working relationship. This enables you to establish a clear exit plan with end dates and project closure. The resignation or disengagement letter may also be an opportunity to let the client know what was not working in the relationship in hopes that the client may change their behavior for the better when they work with other partners in the future.
Feel Good About Your Decision
Firing bad clients helps create the time and energy you need to take on those dream clients who are waiting in the wings to take your small business to the next level. Suddenly, work will no longer feel like a hassle. Instead, you will feel good, knowing you made the right business decision. You’ll be able to enjoy balanced, challenging, and lucrative projects with clients you appreciate and who appreciate the value you bring them.
Trust us, we know firsthand how difficult it is to fire a client, but as a consulting firm we also know ho important it is to engage with partners who appreciate the value we bring to their operations.
FocusPlanit serves the entire United States and is the industry’s premier team of highly qualified ConnectWise, QuickBooks, Wise-Sync, GoZynta, CharTec, ConnectBooster experts who have dedicated years of their professional life implementing and optimizing these solutions. Contact us today to schedule a complimentary consultation.