Does losing a client seem counterintuitive to you? I suppose it may feel like a loss if you are simply looking at numbers, but good business is much more than just a numbers game! If you can get beyond the numbers and understand that this particular loss is actually good for your company, it puts a whole new spin on the word ‘loss.’ If the client is not a good fit with your business model, you can’t meet their specific needs, or your core values do not correspond with your clients, the ‘loss’ of that particular client is actually a ‘win’ for your company. As a business owner myself, I can tell you it doesn’t always feel great to have to say goodbye to a client, but sometimes that’s just part of the gig and you and your company will be better off for it.
Here are three sure-fire ways to lose a client:
1. Stick to your boundaries.
This, of course, begins with setting clear boundaries when you enter into the relationship. Clearly outline the scope of work, timeline of the work to be completed, your availability as well as the client’s, etc. Making sure you have everything clearly spelled out and agreed to in your initial contract can help with this. See our recent blog post here for more tips on the importance of contracts and what to include. Be sure you also discuss your company’s core values and ensure they align with your client’s values. Don’t be afraid to draw hard lines, when necessary, when your values and ethical standards are at stake. If your client is unable to meet these same standards, it is time to cut ties.
2. Value your service.
It is so important for you to see the value in the service you are providing, because if you don’t, they certainly won’t! Make sure you are able to express, explain, and demonstrate the value you provide, and then charge accordingly. And, under no circumstances should you work for free – if they have money problems, then they also have service problems!
3. Expect an investment.
If you are going to devote your time and energy to the client, you must also have a commitment from them. This will be demonstrated through consistent time on their calendar, clear communication, and follow-through on client objectives. If the client repeatedly ‘no shows’ for scheduled meetings or calls with you, doesn’t communicate with you on a consistent basis, and isn’t meeting their set objectives outlined in the contract, they are not truly invested in the relationship, and you are not getting the return on your investment of the time and resources you are dedicating to the client.
The clients you ‘lose’ through these methods are the clients that need to be lost! Acknowledge that the relationship is not a good fit and step away with professionalism. Explain to them why the relationship isn’t working for you and connect them with the right person or service that fits their needs if you have someone or something in mind. You’d be surprised how many times this has come back around to benefit me! Not only have I received referrals by remaining cordial with those I have parted ways with, but I have also resigned clients I formerly ‘lost’ years later when the circumstances were right.
Why would you want the stress and headaches associated with hanging on to a relationship that is not mutually beneficial? The above ways to lose a client will not only help you dismiss the clients who aren’t a good fit for your company, they will also provide you with a framework for finding and keeping clients who are a good fit. These clients will value their relationship with you because they value the service you provide and will see you as a trusted member of their team. If you’d like to discuss partnering with Remote COO or want to learn more about how we might be able to help you work smarter, not harder, visit us at https://remotecoo.com/.