It’s Not Me. It’s You. Thoughts on firing a client.
After unfortunately having to fire a client this morning, Sherri took to the Band of Insiders Facebook group (a safe space we created for digital experts to share, learn, and vent with each other) with the question, ‘Have you ever had to fire a client? Was it worth it? Any advice for those currently in a toxic relationship with a client, and weighing their options?’. And it got me to thinking…
Number one, we should always be interviewing our clients for fit as much as we know they’re screening new potential agency partners/contractors for the same thing.
Secondly, consider the loss and its impact on your mental/emotional well being. That hit of firing a client is never easy and if you’ve had to do it, you know that it’s never done on a whim, or thought of lightly. If you’re avoiding a client because you just can’t tolerate the situation any further, or if you’re experiencing toxicity of any kind in your interactions with them, then it’s likely time to start thinking about this.
If you’re consistently feelin’ legit angry at them…like you’re fuming, then maybe it’s long past time you consider your options for “consciously disconnecting” from them. A relationship built on constant animosity is no good for the work, your team, your client, or yourself. That type of energy serves no one well. Save your energy for mutually beneficial relationships you can actually enjoy.
When firing a client there’s def impact to consider, both negative and positive. But once it’s over, most will find that the positives well out-weigh the negatives.
And finally, know your worth. If you’re anything like me, you’ll likely consume yourself with self-doubt and become your own worst enemy. Have a little bit of compassion for the person in the mirror. It’s not you. It’s more likely a bad fit with them — and there’s nothing wrong with that.
Though firing a client is a difficult choice to make, you’ll learn a lot about yourself in the process and about client work in general. Take that. Study it. And incorporate what you’ve learned.
Sharing is Caring
If you’ve ever had to fire a client, hit me in the comments, would ‘ppreciate hearing what your experience was like — How’d you benefit from the decision?