When Is It Time to Fire a Client?
When is it time to fire a client? There are several factors to consider, and not all of them have to do with the client or whatever problems we think they’re causing for us and our practice. We must be honest: some of the considerations on such a decision have to do with us. The Price and Value Journey is presented by John Ray and produced by the North Fulton studio of Business RadioX®.
John Ray: [00:00:00] Hello again. I’m John Ray on The Price and Value Journey. When is it time to fire a client? If you think the answer is never or you don’t want to address the question, that’s a sign of a problem in your professional services practice. Clients change and so do you. You must address these changes or your practice will get unwieldy or even unprofitable.
John Ray: [00:00:23] Here are a few factors you can use to determine whether a client should be invited to explore other options. First, unreasonable and repeated boundary violations. My personal favorite on this one is the guy who always called me on Sunday mornings because, according to him, that was the only quiet time he could talk. I told him bye-bye.
John Ray: [00:00:48] Two, change in their business. Maybe their business is changed in a way which makes them less of a fit for your practice. Now, this situation may be a positive for both of you. Both of you have grown in different directions, for example.
John Ray: [00:01:05] Three, change in your business. Because you’ve developed a special expertise, maybe you’ve decided to focus on left handed house painters, for example, and right handed window washers just aren’t a fit anymore. You’re doing both yourself and the client a favor by recognizing that the fit just isn’t there anymore.
John Ray: [00:01:28] Late payers. This one is self-explanatory, but it also raises the question of why you’re not billing and collecting in advance.
John Ray: [00:01:39] Number five, the shoe doesn’t fit anymore. You’ve grown to a point where those smaller clients aren’t a great fit and they can get better attention from another provider. Admit it, it’s better for the client and it’s better for you.
John Ray: [00:01:56] And then, finally, number six, you’ve just lost that loving feeling. Maybe the client has, too. It’s when you know in your gut that you’re just not in sync with your client. If you’re sensing it, the client is too.
John Ray: [00:02:12] These are a few factors. But here’s what I hope you’ll take away, that not all the reasons why we would disengage from a client have to do with the client themselves. Some of them, if we’re honest, have to do with us and how we’ve changed, and how it’s better for the client if we give them an opportunity to move on. It’s not just about us.
John Ray: [00:02:39] I’m John Ray on The Price and Value Journey. I’m honored that you joined me. And if you’d like to hear more of this series, go to pricevaluejourney.com to find the complete show archive or subscribe using your favorite podcast app. You can also email me directly, firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for joining me.
About The Price and Value Journey
The title of this show describes the journey all professional services providers are on: building a services practice by seeking to convince the world of the value we offer, helping clients achieve the outcomes they desire and trying to do all that at pricing which reflects the value we deliver.
If you feel like you’re working too hard for too little money in your solo or small firm practice, this show is for you. Even if you’re reasonably happy with your practice, you’ll hear ways to improve both your bottom line as well as the mindset you bring to your business.
John Ray, Host of The Price and Value Journey
John Ray is the host of The Price and Value Journey.
John owns Ray Business Advisors, a business advisory practice. John’s services include advising solopreneur and small professional services firms on their pricing. John is passionate about the power of pricing for business owners, as changing pricing is the fastest way to change the profitability of a business. His clients are professionals who are selling their “grey matter,” such as attorneys, CPAs, accountants and bookkeepers, consultants, marketing professionals, and other professional services practitioners.
In his other business, John is a Studio Owner, Producer, and Show Host with Business RadioX®, and works with business owners who want to do their own podcast. As a veteran B2B services provider, John’s special sauce is coaching B2B professionals to use a podcast to build relationships in a non-salesy way which translate into revenue.
John is the host of North Fulton Business Radio, Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Radio, Nashville Business Radio, Alpharetta Tech Talk, and Business Leaders Radio. house shows which feature a wide range of business leaders and companies. John has hosted and/or produced over 1,100 podcast episodes.