Firing clients doesn’t have to be a nightmare. These four steps can help you
1. Know why you’re parting ways.
Be prepared to explain clearly and concretely why your professional relationship has run its course, whether that’s because they’ve missed payments or ignored your advice on a big issue. Do this in person, and follow up your meeting with an email outlining the plan going forward, including what projects are left to be completed.
2. Suggest an alternative.
Whether you have a specific firm in mind, or just give them the names of a few people who might be interested, try to avoid leaving clients out to dry. If a client constantly has a balance, consider recommending a firm whose going rate is lower than your own.
3. Make sure they have all the information they need.
The client should have all the original documents from their client file. Even if the client is onboard with the decision to part ways, things can quickly become unpleasant if you drag out the process. Hold up your end of the deal, and have everything ready for them to start their next chapter.
4. Get paid.
Try as hard as possible to have this conversation coincide with a natural stopping point, such as the end of a major project. If this is impossible, set a clear deadline and stick to it. For clients who have not kept up with your payments, this can be tricky. See our ten tips to get paid faster.
When firing clients, hold yourself to the standards you’ve set for your business. With proper planning, the process can be swift and straightforward.