How to Know When It’s Time to Fire A Client

You were so excited to hang your shingle and start attracting clients. You got your message clear, set your prices and created valuable packages and it happened. Someone inquired about working with you.

No doubt, you were super excited and you said yes, you wanted to help them and they became your client. At the beginning of your business relationship all was well as both of you were excited to do the work, but then something happened.

All of a sudden your perfect client became, well, a little less perfect…. They started to not show up for appointments; you started to get emails that were demeaning and condescending. You got frustrated because you don’t know what happened.

At some point in time, you’re going to have to contend with this. No matter how good you are and how well you do what you do. You won’t be exempt from getting a client that you thought was ideal that turns out to be anything but.

I remember the first time I had to fire a client. They had paid BUT their energy just wasn’t right. When I looked at my calendar and saw their name for a session, I’d roll my eyes in disgust. Yup, me.

It happens.

Now, I know you are thinking, “Not you Darnyelle, you’re always so happy and upbeat.” Well, I’d like to think that is because I do my best to protect my energy and ensure that everything I do brings me joy.

I know that I became an entrepreneur for many reasons and among them was so that I could work with the people I wanted. There, I said it.

It’s true. When you’re an employee, you don’t get to pick your co-workers and who you spend your time with in the office. When you start your own company, you retain that power, and the same goes for your clients. If you don’t get a good vibe from someone, you don’t have to let them hire you. You get to decide who you work with. I like to ensure that they see my value and are willing to do what it takes, including taking personal responsibility to work with me.

Judith has a similar concern:

“Hi Darnyelle, thank you so much for your videos. They inspire me to keep pushing toward my dream of having a 6-figure business. After months of no new clients in my business, I have recently gotten a few clients. And while I should be ecstatic, I’m actually stressed out because they aren’t desirable. What I mean is they are negative, not doing the work and causing me tons of frustration BUT they are paying my full fee. How do I manage this and should I keep working with them just to say I have clients even though I can honestly say that the money isn’t worth it?”

Watch this week’s episode to see how I responded to Judith’s question.

Like I said in the episode, life is too short to serve clients that don’t refuel you.

I recommend the following:

  1. Take the time to get crystal clear about the types of personalities you want your clients to possess.
  2. Hold the vision of what your ideal client looks, feels, and acts like.
  3. Spend time in gratitude for your clients before you ever meet them.
  4. Create a process that will allow you to validate that these traits exist whenever you have a new client conversation. I’m talking specifically about how you want them to work with you and help you to solve their problem. The reason I have a discovery session is because I am intuitive and as soon as I hear someone’s voice and how they respond to my questions, I get a good indication of their ability to be a good client for me. (I implemented this after my last bad client – yeah I actually use to take everyone who wanted to work with me….big mistake 🙂 )
  5. When you have to fire a client, know that it’s not personal and know that they are just not the right type of person to experience transformation through you.

What say you? Please share your two cents by leaving a comment below.

  • What advice do you have for Judith?
  • How do you handle non-ideal clients?
  • What do you do to end or maintain the relationship?

©2013 by Darnyelle A. Jervey. All Rights Reserved. Darnyelle A. Jervey, MBA, The Incredible Factor Speaker, Business Coach and Marketing Mentor, is the founder of Incredible One, Incredible Factor University® the Leverage Your Incredible Factor System® a proven step-by-step program for more clients, more income and more leverage in your business. For more information and a FREE audio CD “7 Critical Mistakes Entrepreneurs Must Avoid When Unleashing Your Incredible Factor So You Attract More Clients, Make More Money and Gain More Leverage” just fill out the form below.

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