How firing a client made me earn more money and feel happier

Firing a client was not an option for me a couple years ago.

But sometimes you just need to follow your instinct (and common sense) and take a step further in your relationship with your clients.

We all know how important is to keep your pipeline busy and full of future clients. But it’s just as important, or even more, to qualify those leads and figure out if you really want to work with them.

Otherwise, you will find someday in your client portfolio a bunch of people you don’t want to work with.

Have you ever been in the situation where a client is calling you, and you don’t really want to pick up the phone?

This is what I am talking about.

Calculate the hidden cost of a bad client

Traditionally, you can calculate your pricing policy based on the cost of production plus your commercial margin. But let ask you something.

Do all clients cost the same to your company?

Obviously no. Some clients are just passionate about what they do and they are open to new ideas, open to listen from a different point of views and interact with new teams.

Usually, they refer your services to other colleges!

Other clients are just a nightmare. And you know something? I am not here to work with ANY client, I want the awesome ones. The type of client makes you go further than you just have to go.

If you accept bad clients into your portfolio, you will finish burn out, as well as your team. And the biggest hidden cost, if you are not firing a client like this, is that you are closing your doors to the great customers.

Calculate the hidden benefit of firing a client

Your time is limited, you have 24 hours a day like any other person and you can (or should) employ a limited % of the time to work with your clients. That’s a limited resource!

You want to do your best in that period of time, be productive and produce the best results for your clients. Right. The best way to achieving this is selecting carefully your clients.

Working with the right clients will provoke in you (and your team and your business) an incredible improvement in many ways. And obviously, those benefits are more than just economic.

Create awesome case studies

Working with great clients is the better way to be motivated and generate great results. This is the ultimate goal that you want to provoke into your audience and future clients.

I particularly like the idea where the client becomes a hero. Because remember, once again, this is about your audience, your readers, your clients, not about you.

Transforming great clients into great content marketing

As you can imagine at that point, working with the right clients generate content marketing by itself. Explaining a case where the client achieves their goals and much more, how they did it and how you help to achieve this is amazing content.

This is about to focus the content around the client, they are the stars, the superheroes.

And of course, that content will attract more clients like these ones, this is how I ultimately made more money by firing a client which I didn’t enjoy working with.

Establish a client evaluation criteria

Ok, great. This is all about working with the right clients.

But how I select the right clients from my portfolio?

I think this is a fun exercise. What I did was describe my best client (similar to how we identified our ideal audience). I described any single attribute this ideal client has. Who is the person in charge, how they talk, what kind of emails they send, how they react to an unexpected event?

Everything!

firing a client

I have a crystal clear image about the client I want in my portfolio. Then I create an evaluation process any time a new potential client ask for something. Just a simple pre-sales conversation on the phone could reveal the type of client they will be.

Obviously, the process becomes more and more effective with the time.

But the important thing here is that we adding a new question into the sales process. Not just can I deliver what they are asking for?

Now we also ask… Do I want to work with this client?

Conclusions: firing a client, a bad client it’s just healthy for your business

Create a great client’s portfolio is a long-term job. Takes time and sometimes we can not start doing it from the very beginning when we need that money to survive just another month.

I know, I know…

But the difference lies in the point of view, from any client means more business and therefore, more money. To a new position where we are focusing on attracting and retain our ideal client.

So tell me, I am sure you have some nasty clients, how do you deal with them? Are you planning fire that clients?

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  • Ashley Faulkes

    Great idea. Bad clients suck. I even fired one recently. Once the painful discussions start or the low income to time ratio, time to move on :>