Posts tagged Fire a Client
This blog post is inspired by a recent consultation with one of my clients. This particular massage therapist was having problems with a with a particular client that was causing extreme dislike towards this client on her part. Without going into the particulars, I told her that she may have to just “fire” her client.
Clients are the lifeblood of any business. Without them, your business simply doesn’t exist. We have all had the occasional client who has been late, complains about our prices, and the ones that are just never satisfied. These clients can be very draining. Some clients are so bad that your business, not to mention your personal sanity, is better off without them. If you simply can’t work with someone, fire them.
If you decide to terminate a client, the best way to do it is in writing. A letter, sent via the good old USPS, is the best choice. Email would be the second choice, followed by a phone call. The last thing you want is to have a face to face meeting. Why? It’s easier to choose your words carefully if you put them on paper. You can make as many drafts as necessary to ensure your professionalism at all times. Also, a hard copy outlining the reason for terminating the relationship can be useful if the client decides, for whatever reason, to sue you. Email, while faster, is a less traditional approach. Because of the fast delivery, we don’t think about what we are writing until after we have hit the “send” button. Phone and face to face meetings may cause conversation to become very heated, very quickly, and that’s the last thing you want.
Choose your words carefully. The letter should be written in a standard business letter format, beginning with “Dear Mr./Ms./Mrs….” Be apologetic – “I regret to inform you that we will no longer be working together.”
Clearly explain the reason you are no longer willing to work with them, but be tactful. If the client is needy and annoying, constantly late or “no shows”, say “It’s important to me that you receive the attention you deserve. I just don’t think I am the right massage therapist for you.”
If the client is being fired for a number of reasons, it’s not necessary to list them all. There is no need to embarrass or anger them. Just mention the worst problems, and leave it at that.
Be honest. Don’t say that you’re going out of business, or that you’re moving, or that you have a terminal illness. Why? Because if you do, you’ll see them around town later, and they’ll be embarrassed or angry that you lied to them.
End your letter respectfully. Wish them luck in their future endeavors maybe even give them a few referrals of people you know who work especially well with this type of client.
It’s very important that your grammar and spelling be totally professional. This is a business correspondence and should be treated as such. This means spell check your document. Then have someone else read it over for clarity and to make sure you didn’t type “impotent” when you meant to say “important,” or “fart” when you meant to say “part.” Spell check is a wonderful tool, but it doesn’t catch all mistakes!
If the customer responds, be firm. Don’t go back on your decision (remember there was a reason that you wanted to fire this person in the first place!) Reiterate your original statement. If they insult your business, or you personally, don’t respond in kind.
Have you ever had to fire a client? How did you handle it?