How to Fire a Client

How to Fire a Client

You’re being let go. We’re moving in a different direction. We’re downsizing. We’re right-sizing. This isn’t working out. We’re going to end our relationship at this time. Although there are a million ways to say it, doing so is never easy. But sometimes the words “you’re fired” desperately need to be said. 

Most bosses recognize when an employee is no longer right for their company, but when it comes to clients, agencies can be reluctant to terminate that relationship. Clients create revenue and in theory should not be let go, no matter the toll it takes on them or their staff. 

Sound familiar? 

If you have a client that you know deep down you should never have taken on, it’s high time to let them go before things get worse. If you’re considering giving this client a second (or fifth) chance, think twice if they meet any of the criteria below:

  • The client is taking up more time than they are worth. It’s one thing if your client has a personal emergency, but repeatedly failing to fulfill their end of the bargain is another. At the end of the day, you’re running a business. If are wasting more time and energy on a client than they are compensating you for, then it makes sense, from a logical perspective, to end the relationship. 
  • The client overrides your recommendations. You’re the expert here, and may know the client’s brand better than they do. Making sure you and the client are on the same page is essential to any effective strategy, but if you’re butting heads over every font size, color scheme, and graphic, you’ve got a migrane waiting to happen. 
  • There’s a clear lack of respect. This one should be a no brainer. 
  • You simply can’t stand working with them. People often de-prioritize their own experiences in favor of making money. If you hate working with this client, why put yourself through the torture if you have a way out? 

When it comes time to say goodbye, keep the conversation short and sharp. Set up the meeting, wear something that makes you feel confident, and tell the client that you are no longer able to serve them in the capacity they need and will be terminating this relationship. No excuses, and no apologies. The money is not worth the misery. 

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