Should You Ever Fire a Client?

by | Oct 21, 2016 | Blog

Yes, I can hear you.  ‘Fire a client?  Are you insane Clive?’

No, I’m not and on occasions this is something I have done and on more occasions wished I had have done.

Just think about this for a moment.  Your relationship with a client is usually a simple win:win.  You supply the goods or services that your client requires and in return they pay you.  If you didn’t provide what was required, for example, you would not be surprised if the client no longer used you.  That cuts both ways.

Consider these examples:

Where’s the money?  Your client makes payments later and later, meaning you have to waste your valuable time chasing them and listening to increasingly unlikely excuses.  Send them a final demand for the full outstanding amount and wish them well with their new supplier.

Can’t do anything right?  This client is a serial complainer.  You know you are providing what they want at the best possible price but they continue to moan.  This is bad for the morale of you and your staff.  Terminate the contract.

Where has the time gone?  You’ve wasted it on this client.  They are constantly emailing or calling with the most trivial of queries.  They constantly reschedule meetings with you but will be on your back if you are not available to them 24:7.  Ditch them – they are not worth your time.

You want me to say what?  Rarely, but it can happen, a client might ask you to be dishonest or indulge in unethical behaviour.  This is a slippery slope and you should refuse without hesitation.  Your reputation is worth more to you than theirs.

He called you a what?  Abusive clients are not worth having.  In fact they are a serious danger to you and your staff.  There is never an excuse to be use foul language or shout in a professional relationship and they need to know that.  Get rid asap.

If you do reach this point with a client, make sure all your contractual obligations have been fulfilled and be professional and courteous at all times, no matter what the provocation.  Avoid placing blame if possible and simply say you feel they would be better served by another company.

Keep any relevant files secure but avoid discussing the client with anyone publicly.  You don’t want to end up on the end of a slander or libel case.

I can help you with all your marketing needs.  Contact me for an informal discussion on 01452 534860 or visit our website to see what we can do for you.