It’s Not Me, It’s You: How to Fire Difficult Customers

Business PlanningContractorsPersonnel Management

02/13/2015 | By Scott Siegal

The Pareto Principle or 80/20 rule basically states that eighty percent of your energy or resources will be directed at twenty percent of your customers.

Here’s the rub: What if eighty percent of your energy is going toward making twenty percent of your most difficult clients happy? It is really worth your time?

What if you could let go of difficult clients and focus all that energy on clients who are far easier to please? Let’s talk about how to fire a difficult client and remain professional in the process.

Certified Contractors Network Firing a Customer

Professional Break Up Artist:

It is possible to terminate a client. And, it might be the best decision you make for the health of your business. There are three things to keep in mind as you prepare to let a customer go.

  • Review the contract and give adequate notice. Make sure you have held up your end of the bargain and give them enough notice to make other plans. You don’t want a reputation for leaving customers high and dry.
  • Do it in-person, and be quick about it. As nice as it would be to send off a strongly worded email and wash your hands of the whole thing, it’s best to meet face to face. It shows them that you are a professional and you take what you do seriously. One of the best things you can do in this meeting, is to offer this person alternatives that steer them away from your business. And be clear about why you are no longer working for them.
  • Leave emotion out of it. When people and business mix, it’s easy to become wrapped up in angry, bitter, hurt feelings. You are making a business decision. Check your feelings at the door and hold onto your professional integrity.

Obviously, you’ll want to keep you last meeting brief. Again, don’t spend energy on customers that bleed you dry. You will find other clients. You really will.

Moving On

Letting go of any client is a tough thing. I’ve learned this lesson the hard way. Actually, we spend time on these operations sorts of topics in our Business Operations Boot Camp. Sign up today. There is no need to learn the hard way!

Building the Best,

-Scott

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