Signs that its time to fire a clientMost client/agency relationships at some point will have ups and downs. As long as there is a mutual level of respect the relationship will be able to weather the storm. The best relationships occur when there is a clear understanding of the project, deliverables and the budget. If everyone is on the same page with these 3 factors, most experiences will be good.

The worst thing you can do as an agency is try to force a relationship that doesn’t seem to be a good fit. The time and energy spent trying to constantly reassure the client will eventually cost you revenue. You don’t want to jeopardize the integrity of your business by snapping viciously at a client. So when is it a good time to make that dreadful call explaining respectfully to the client that you no longer want to work with them? Below I will share with you 7 warning signs that it’s time to move on. After the tips, I will also share a script explaining how to gently back out of the relationship.

  1. Your client doesn’t respect your opinion or expertise. In most situations, agencies are hired for their expertise in a particular area. When your clients no longer respect your opinions in your niche, it may be time to dissolve the relationship. Two people pulling each other in different directions spells disaster.
  2. Your client doesn’t respect your staff or team members. At the end of the day, your staff or team members are a part of your business family. No one should be allowed to continuously belittle or disrespect your family. These people were brought in to help you grow the business and if they are not happy, chances are your business will struggle in some area. One mishap may be overlooked but if there is constant display of un-professionalism from a client, it’s time to cut them loose.
  3. Constant late or non-payment issues. If you’re constantly having to chase a client down for non-payment it tends to put the relationship in a really weird space. You want clients that respect your work enough to pay you on time and when there are problems they respect you enough to call with an explanation. Now if they are calling every single time an invoice is due, you still may have to cut the cord. You are not in the collections industry so you don’t want to make this an ongoing issue. This time can be spent working with paying clients or pursuing new deals.
  4. They are constantly try to squeeze out free work. This again goes with the issue of respect. Great clients understand that this is how you make a living and won’t keep trying to nickel and dime you. They want you to do well.
  5. You’re not able to meet the client’s expectations. There may come a time that a client will make a request that you can’t accommodate, and this is okay every now and then. The problem happens when these requests are frequent and you are unable to meet their expectations. Rather than tarnish the credibility of your business, the smart thing to do is to let it go.
  6. The client is constantly missing deadlines. In order for you to successfully do your work, you need to have everything from the client. Not getting information on time from the client, puts you behind on other projects. This is a terrible way to do business and instead of losing the one client, you may end of losing multiple.
  7. The client only gives you bits and pieces. Trust is important when you’re working with clients. If your client doesn’t trust you enough to give you all of the information you need to complete your projects on time, it’s time to do something else.

Now that you know some of the signs, what do you say to the client that you’ve decided not to work with anymore. Below is a script that can be customized to fit your business.

Hi Mr. Client,

As you might have noticed lately, our working relationship has been a bit shaky. My only goal in servicing you is to provide you with quality work and I feel like I am no longer able to achieve that. Rather than this working relationship dissolve with everyone being bitter, I’d like to gracefully bow out. I understand that getting your project completed is your top priority and I will be 100% cooperative in compiling all of the work that I have done so that it may be presented to a new agency. I wish you tons of success in your business and I am sure that our paths will cross at some point in the future.

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