Welcome back to Awkward Conversations Week! As promised yesterday in turning down a potential client, today we’re going to talk about terminating an existing client relationship.
In preparation for writing this article, and to avoid reinventing the wheel, I pulled up my handy dandy search engine and searched for the phrase “how to fire a client”.
I found a lot, but I didn’t find much.
If you search that term – something I don’t recommend, by the way – you will find a lot of why you should fire a client, and you will find a lot of what you should do to avoid having to fire a particular client, and you will find a lot of what you should do to avoid attracting the types of clients you might later want to fire.
(For some reason, this reminds me of that old Rita Rudner quote. “Whenever I date a man, I think… is this the man I want my children to spend their weekends with?”)
When it comes to the actual firing part, though, support is a little thin on the ground.
In fact, the morality brigade seems to be coming out in full force – basically, you shouldn’t find yourself in this position in the first place. (Oh, and make sure to send them a thousand bucks to take Moths to a Flame TM, their magnetic client attraction class, while we’re talking about it. Then all your clients will be just dreamy.)
Maybe I have entitlement issues, and maybe the world has changed a little now that everyone and their Weimeraner has a coach, but I think that if you can’t stand working with someone, you should feel allowed to fire them. Knowing how to avoid this mess in the future is lovely. It’s particularly lovely in the future. Today, though, you have to fire this person, and you want to know how.
So, let’s go through a little disclaimer, and then we can get to the good stuff…