Know When to Say No – Part 2
Sophie Zollmann
August 27, 2021

No business owner likes to lose clients, but sometimes we find ourselves in a client relationship that is no longer good for us or our business. Hopefully, it doesn’t happen often, but it’s still important to be able to recognize when it’s time to say goodbye.

Nobody loves ALL their clients ALL the time. Sometimes they’re too demanding, too picky, too slow to make decisions – we all have complaints sometimes.

You might face some hard choices as you decide whether to salvage a client relationship or let it go, but there are some red flags that tell you a relationship needs to end immediately, no questions asked.

If you encounter any of these scenarios, it’s time to say goodbye!

  • A client that is verbally abusive to you or your team
  • Clients that don’t pay promptly
  • A client that is NEVER satisfied with your work

Those are really clear signs that a client relationship simply isn’t working and is never going to work, so it’s best to cut ties cleanly and move on. But what about those situations that aren’t so clear cut?

Sometimes you’ll encounter a client that simply gets on your nerves, or one that you find difficult to work with. In this case, you’ve got to decide whether or not it’s worth it to continue the relationship. Here are some signs that it’s probably time to move on.

  • If you feel drained after every conversation you have, or if you feel like you rehash the same things over and over and over, that is a relationship that is unlikely to improve.
  • If you find yourself working overtime to please them, but they’re STILL not happy – it’s probably gone past the point of repair.
  • If you dread every new assignment or consider faking your own death and moving to another country to avoid another meeting with them, it’s time to say goodbye.
  • If you’re considering dumping your business and going back to your 9-5 grind to avoid them, it’s DEFINITELY time to cut ties!!!

We all have annoying clients, but if you truly can’t stand them and even the thought of them ruins your day, that is not a relationship worth saving!!

Now, there might be times that you need to fire a client that you genuinely like and respect. That’s probably the hardest call to make, but sometimes it’s the best choice for both of you.

Businesses change and evolve, and sometimes you or your clients outgrow each other, and that’s okay. Maybe they have grown a great deal and their needs are greater than you can take on. Maybe your business is changing and the tasks you’re doing for a client no longer align with your goals or values. Maybe this just isn’t the kind of work you want to be known for.

That’s okay!! Set them free so they can find someone who is a better fit to provide the services they need. Don’t waste your limited time and resources on clients that are no longer an asset for your business.

The main takeaway here is that you need to know your worth. You work hard, and you’re good at what you do, and you deserve clients that recognize that! Good clients help you build a better business, so if you have dead weight that’s holding you back, don’t be afraid to toss them and make room for the good ones.

If you’d like to learn more about the signs that it’s time to cut ties with a client or get some helpful tips on firing a client without hurting your business, tune in to this week’s episode of Building Your Empire with SophieZo.


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