It’s never an easy call to end a client relationship. After all, the cost of acquiring a new client is five times higher than the cost of retaining one. Some clients, though, are just not worth the hassle. How do you know when you should fire a client, and how do you do it professionally and tactfully? Read on.

In this issue of PromoPro Daily, we share tips from Jordana A., a digital marketing and web development professional, on how you can approach the situation.

How To Identify A Problem Client

You can look for several signs that indicate it’s time to end the client relationship. According to Jordana, some of these signs include:

  • They take up too much of your time. Maybe the scope of the original project has changed, or the client expects you to be available 24/7.
  • They’re late on payments. If the client is continually late processing your invoices, this can slow your company’s cash flow and impact your overall financial health.
  • They’re mean, rude or intimidating. It’s also time to fire a client if they’re causing you or your team emotional distress. Jordana says this might range from negative comparisons to threatening language.

How To Fire A Client Tactfully

When you know you’ve reached the point that you no longer want to work with a particular client, it’s time to break the news. Here’s how to handle things to avoid any negative consequences for your business:

  • Review the contract. Make sure you can legally end the relationship. Jordana says you can fire a client by carrying out either a termination for cause or termination for convenience. The first is when a party fails to fulfill their obligations as stated in the contract, while the latter allows you to end the contract with or without cause, penalty-free. She advises consulting a contract lawyer if your client wrote the agreement. If there’s no way out of the contract, your best option might be completing the project and then not renewing.
  • Finish any ongoing work. You might want to walk away from a nightmare client immediately, but this might backfire. The client could talk poorly about you, which could tarnish your brand and lead you to lose prospective clients. Never abandon any projects.
  • Provide a report. Let the client know what you’ve completed. This can make it easier during the handover process, Jordana says, and help avoid misunderstandings. She advises informing the client of the termination date, any ongoing tasks you plan to complete before this date and any payment terms the client must make.
  • Send a professional email. Even if you let the client know in person, it’s good to have written documentation that you’ve decided to let them go. Jordana says you may not need it, but the email can back your story if the problem client brings the matter to court. She suggests wording your email like this:

Dear [Client],

I write this letter to inform you that we are terminating our contract effective from [termination date]. After careful consideration, I’m deciding to part ways based on [reason for termination]. For the reason stated above, it would benefit us both if you took your project to another company that better suits your needs.

As per our agreement, I will [tasks and obligations you must complete]. If you have any questions, I am available via email or phone. I am grateful for your understanding and wish you well in your future endeavors.

Kind regards,
[Your name]

Deciding to fire a problem client is a big decision. But by identifying these problem clients early on, you can dedicate more of your time and energy to the people you genuinely enjoy helping.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Jordana A. is a digital marketing and web development professional who contributes to the Hostinger blog.