Ventures usually exhaust a lot of their time, resources, and efforts to gain clients. However, one matter doesn’t get discussed enough: how to fire a client and how to tell if it’s the right thing to do.
In this article, we’ll discuss the reasons why you’ll need to let go of a client. We’ll also look at ways how to do it without putting your reputation at risk.
Reasons to Fire a Client
Before we dive right into how to fire a client, it’s crucial to discuss the reasons that might push you to let a customer go. In some situations, firing a customer becomes a much healthier option for the business.
You’re Losing Money
Clients are supposed to bring in money to the business. However, if the client is causing you to lose money, then it might be time to rethink your partnership. For example, delayed payments can decrease the amount of revolving capital for your operations. This problem is crucial because you’ll need the cash to maintain your services and grow the business further. If such is the case, it might be best to let go of a client and accept other prospects who pay on time.
The Client Isn’t Worth It
A problem client can also cause a business to waste time and effort. For instance, clients who don’t know what they want from the get-go can weigh heavily on your shoulders. Look at your books. If a client costs you more energy and resources than the amount it’s bringing in, cut the ties promptly. Your business will thank you for it.
Being your client’s service provider doesn’t mean that they can abuse you mentally, or worse, emotionally. For example, there’s a vast difference between honest feedback and verbal abuse. If the client’s remarks are more personal than professional, or if they’re insulting you or your employees, call it quits.
Similarly, if the client harasses you or anyone on your team because of your race, gender, or physical looks, fire the client, and don’t look back. Remember, for a partnership to work, both parties should respect the other. Respect isn’t a one-way street.
No Respect for One’s Time
The saying, “time is gold,” applies literally to business. Time is an essential asset in commerce, and having to waste it due to clients’ inefficiency is a no-no. For instance, the time you spend waiting for a client who shows up late to a meeting can instead be used for more fruitful endeavors. If a client doesn’t respect your time, there’s a big chance they also don’t respect your business.
Lack of Communication
Communication is an essential element of successful collaboration. The client should be able to tell you what they need and give you feedback once you deliver your task. Lack of proper communication can lead to project delays and wasted resources.
For instance, if you’re a content writer and your client does a good job of giving you substantial details about the project, you’ll be well-equipped to create an article that meets the clients’ needs. If, however, the client doesn’t brief you well, you might work on the project based on how you interpret the instructions.
If you feel that your client is being dishonest or is trying to deceive you, cut the cord right away. You won’t be able to work well with the client if you don’t trust them and vice versa. Though some mistakes can’t be avoided now and then, a deliberate effort to cheat you is another story. If you’re dealing with a dishonest client, it’s best to cut loose before you find yourself in a worse situation.
How to Fire a Client
There is no easy way to fire a client. After all, you’ll be cutting a cord and putting an end to a partnership you once hoped would last. As hard as it may be, these factors and tips will help you do the task with less drama and with your integrity intact.
Factors to Keep in Mind When Firing a Client
Here are some factors to keep in mind if you’re still not sure how to fire a client.
- Don’t Prolong the Agony. If you feel that your business operations are suffering because of a problem client, don’t prolong the agony. Doing so will only cause your business to lose valuable time and energy than necessary. Decide once and for all, and tell your client.
- Be Professional. Letting go of a client doesn’t mean you’ll have the freedom to pour out all your rants. Up until the moment you part ways, do your best to be professional. Added to that, avoid mentioning personal matters when telling a client that you’re firing them.
- Suggest Alternatives. If you know you can’t be of service to a client anymore, you can help them find another service provider. You can even recommend your competitors to them.
- Be Polite. When breaking up with a client through email, make sure that you use polite words and don’t leave anything to misinterpretation. Also, decide which is the channel of communication to use. If, for example, you see each other regularly face-to-face, firing the client through email might seem off.
How to Fire a Client Script
If you’re looking for a template on how to fire a toxic client, you can take this template and modify it according to your unique situation:
“We appreciate the chance to work with you, and we learned a lot during our collaboration. However, because of certain issues, it seems that we’re not the best fit. Both parties will thrive better if we go our separate ways. We’ll be more than happy to give you a list of recommended service providers to consider for your [nature of service] needs.”
Without a doubt, cutting off toxic clients can make your business more productive. It may not be an easy decision, but firing problem clients is crucial to maintaining a client list you’ll be happy to work and grow with.