Attracting and retaining customers is a goal most companies strive to achieve. There are instances, though, when it may be time to bid adieu to a client.
When dealing with a difficult client takes too much of your time and energies, and there are indications of dwindling respect or lack of appreciation for all your efforts, it may be time to sever ties. The manner with which you part ways with a client is very important. It must be done in a civil manner. Lashing out at a client over many trivial matters and burning bridges is a no-no.
Assuming that your client no longer regards business contacts like you in the proper spirit, and you may feel that nothing – not even a high monetary value – can substitute for pleasing conduct, it’s no reason to regard your client with a cold shoulder. The right approach in severing ties with that client must be followed. In other words, a system has to be in place.
If you’re faced with difficult clients who may be demanding much from you, yet have become non-revenue generating, you may feel like holding on for as long as you can for friendship or loyalty’s sake. Nonetheless, business heads need to assess every client relationship from a business/financial standpoint.
If, for instance, you run a marketing services firm and a major client is not that receptive anymore to the creative ideas you offer owing to budgetary constraints, you may opt to keep on revising to meet client specifications. You may continue to render the same quality service notwithstanding non-stop pressure to reduce costs, but if the client keeps making unreasonable demands, it may be time to rethink whether the business relationship should cease or go on.
There are steps you can follow when deciding to end a once-fruitful client relationship. For starters, use the right phrasing in the correspondence seeking to discuss the matter, to the actual meeting culminating the business relationship. Don’t leave any pending work or projects hanging; complete the tasks in a professional manner.
Keep in mind that there’s a way to turn a seemingly negative situation to your advantage. Avoid ending the relationship on a sour or bitter note. It is not a good time to bring up past shortcomings or lay the blame for some failures. If the client is up to it, ask for feedback on ways of improving the business relationship, if not in the present, then possibly in the near future. Convey gratitude, make the client feel good, and keep the lines of communication open.
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