How to Fire a Horrible Client
No one wants a client relationship to be terminated. They’re paying us money, giving interesting projects, and sometimes becoming friends of ours. Then there’s the one who’s such a nightmare that your company starts losing money and morale.
This is a bit touchy subject. Some of us may have already fired customers, or have always wanted to, but fail to have that uncomfortable conversation or don’t know how to start or what to say.
What makes a client really that bad?
First, if they are regularly rude, it may be time to fire the client. From time to time, everyone has bad days, but you know there are also people who seem to have a bad day every day. Bad clients are never on schedule, constantly rescheduling, returning items, never being happy, not being friendly, and making others miserable when they’re around.
Now it is never easy to make a communication to just fire them at once. You might feel uncomfortable but your company’s development should be your priority. Don’t worry and follow these simple points for the same.
Mere emails won’t work here:
You can send them an email, but make sure you visit them directly or call them on the phone as well. It’s more polite, you’re likely to get the right tone, and there’s a better chance of mitigating any hard feelings. Do everything you can to meet the client face to face, sending an email is just a terrible way to end a relationship – it’s as bad as ‘breaking up’ via text!
Speak Truth with Confidence:
You can stretch the truth by saying things like, “We really enjoyed working with you but …” even though you threw darts at their photo, but don’t lie about the reason. Like most lies, it can come back to bite you later. (Heard of Karma?)
Make things sound normal:
It doesn’t mean you have to trick them when I say don’t believe that everyone on your team hates their guts. A bit of candy coat stuff can do wonders. You can say things like, “It seems like we haven’t been able to find a way for both sides to work together.”
Leaving them midway is not desirable:
Finish whatever deliverables you are working on or have committed to, wrap up their files and have them ready to hand over (as long as the client has, of course, all paid up). Suggest a particular company or advisor that might fit their needs better.
Get Straight to the point:
Stay on the highway and don’t get into the weeds of specific situations unless it’s needed. Don’t let that go like things used to happen in high school. Rapidly and quickly pull the band-aid off.
And, finally, thank them for their time and wish them luck. Take the high road and end on a positive note.
You’re just dealing with the symptoms if you fire bad clients. If you want to close the loop on this risky business practice, you need to put in place a mechanism that will prevent you from getting involved with them.
Goes without saying- keep private and confidential the end of the relationship. No need to advertise it for everyone to see on Facebook or Twitter. Tempers flare up, and when you finish a relationship, things can get tense. No matter how bad things get, be polite and courteous at all times.
Have you ever fired a client?
Do tell us in the comments.