Issue #118: When & How to Fire a Client

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Today we’re tackling a topic that’s as tough as it is vital: knowing when to part ways with a client who just isn’t the right fit.
Yep, it happens! And the sooner you can spot a problematic client, the better off you’ll be—saving you from headaches and heartaches down the road.
Let’s face it, not every client is going to be a dream. But you have to know which ones are just “tough to deal with” versus who is just downright toxic. Here’s how you can spot trouble before it gets out of hand:
  1. Endless Haggling: If there’s constant nitpicking over prices or demands even after you’ve shaken hands, brace yourself—it might get rockier.
  2. Ghosting or Chaos in Communication: Clients who vanish when you need them or consistently drop the ball on clarity can turn projects into puzzles.
  3. Rude Much?: Everyone deserves respect, full stop. If a client can’t be cordial, it’s not just bad form—it’s bad for business.
  4. Mission: Impossible Expectations: Watch out for those who want champagne on a beer budget. If they’re never pleased, they might never be.
  5. Boundary Busters: Does your client think you’re 24/7? Setting boundaries early can prevent a future of frustration.
So you’ve got a client that checks most of that list off…now what? You’ll want to see how they impact the team and your resources.
If they’re dragging down team morale, taking up way too much time, and eating into profitability – it’s time to say bye-bye! Here’s how to keep it smooth and professional:
  • Clear and Kind: Let them down gently but firmly. Honesty, as they say, is the best policy.
  • Wrap It Up: Finish what you started. Complete any outstanding work to keep your reputation shiny.
  • Other Fish in the Sea: If you can, suggest another service that might be a better fit. No hard feelings.
  • Lessons Learned: Take a beat to reflect on what went wrong. Understanding this can help you avoid similar situations in the future.
Remember, firing a client isn’t about failure—it’s about focusing on relationships that truly work. Trust your gut, protect your team, and keep your business thriving by making tough choices when necessary.
Until next week,
CEO & Chief Wizard