It is never an easy decision to make when you are considering firing a client. You will need to make sure you have all of your ducks in a row, that you have thought through your options and are not making decisions in the heat of the moment, and that you and your business are protected. But how you do know you are doing the right thing?
Most Common Reasons For Firing a Client
There are many reasons you may need to call it quits on a client you’ve been working with but the most important is their impact on your mental well-being. It is never okay to put up with problematic attitudes or behavior from a client that has sought out your services. This could range from negative comparisons and harsh criticism to intimidation and threatening, or even criminal behavior. Your peace of mind is not for sale at any price and you should certainly begin to sort out a path for termination if you feel that you have been dealing with behavior like this from a client.
Other common reasons for firing a client could be unreasonable expectations, refusing to listen to you, or micromanaging your projects. Sometimes clients are consistently hard to reach, making the process take much longer than expected, or lack transparency. That lack of support needed to make progress creates delays and costs you time, money, and energy, and could be a reason to release them to a new provider.
When to Put a Pause on Terminating
At the same time, not every less-than-stellar client response is worthy of termination. And most importantly, one of the keys to proper termination is to never fire a client when you’re angry, frustrated, or hurt. Before proceeding with terminating a client, you need to step back and cool down. Ideally, you should talk to your team members, a mentor, or a coach–someone who’s got perspective on your business and can help you determine that you are making the best call.
Sometimes ego can cloud our judgment, and you may feel frustrated or angry with a client because they are not taking your advice. But before you terminate, ask yourself these questions. Does your client treat you badly? Does your client have unrealistic expectations? Did you set yourself up for failure or did you make very clear expectations for them in your project agreement? Be sure that you have exhausted all solutions before entering into the termination process, especially if these are consequences that you may have set up through not having a clear and comprehensive project agreement.
When you’re ready to take your design practice to the next level, explore your expert coaching and training options with Melissa Galt. To catch the entire podcast episode LISTEN HERE.