We know that the vast majority of your clients will be fantastic. They will heed your advice, bring you interesting projects, learn and adapt based on your recommendations, and teach you interesting new things. But throughout the life of your business, you’ll come across some clients who are just… well, not worth it!
They will question everything you do for them, argue incessantly, refuse to give you the information you need, undermine your work and then blame you, refuse to pay, or just do crazy insane things.
When a client becomes a bigger hassle than the money they bring in is worth to you, then it may be time to part ways.
We’ve identified the top 5 signs that it’s time to fire your client. Have you come across any of these?
5 Signs That it’s Time to Break Up
1. Poor communication with a dash of urgency
He believes that just discussing an idea means the work will get done immediately. He doesn’t seem to be aware of the fact you have other clients who aren’t him.
Every project he has is extremely urgent – however, they will often get held up for approval on his end. No matter how many times you try to set appropriate expectations, he just doesn’t get it.
2. Full of demands, but not cashflow
She seems professional and put-together, but not only is she extremely demanding – requesting multiple revisions and lots of attention from your team – but only when it comes time to pay the bill does she mention that she might be having some cash flow issues.
She argues about every cent of the bill and becomes so belligerent you end up knocking the price down just to get rid of her.
3. Just can’t seem to lock down, anything
Even if the fate of the world was at stake, she couldn’t decide between Tuesday or Thursday meeting for her presentation.
She can’t agree on a pitch document, can’t decide on which services she needs, can’t confirm or agree to anything. She will procrastinate to the point where deadlines get missed, and it’s still your fault that she missed them.
4. Too Good To Be True
Finally, the perfect, dream client dangling the most amazing opportunity appears in front of you… that never actually happens. This client knows she’s a mythical creature you desperately want to obtain.
She will dangle that promise in front of you and get you to jump through hoops and complete quests and bow to her might and majesty, and then just when you think she’s within reach… she will disappear without a trace.
5. Never Satisfied, and does things their way
This seems like a great client at first – he’s talkative, keen to learn, and excited about his project. But then he takes the work you’ve provided and chops it up and adds things to it and twists it all around and by the time he’s done, it bears no resemblance to the project as initially conceived.
What’s more, he doesn’t know what he doesn’t know, so now he’s made mistakes and invalidated much of your work, then has the nerve to blame you when he doesn’t get the results he’s after.
In whatever form your nightmare clients takes, the key things to watch out for are clients who:
- Don’t respect your time or the fact that you have other clients who also need you.
- Constantly check up on you, in case you’re escaping with their money.
- Disrespect you or your team.
- Expect results you can’t possibly deliver.
- Act irrationally and unprofessionally.
- Believe they can do your job better than you can.
- Are envious of you or another client’s success.
- Regularly pay late, haggle over bills, or refuse to pay at all.
Not every situation with a client or prospect requires the “break up”, sometimes it just comes down to communication. Before hitting send on that break up email, or text, step back and look at the context of the whole situation. Maybe this is an opportunity to come back to the table, and analyze the relationship as a whole.
Sometimes an impartial third-party, or sounding board is a great place to start. Register today for Entrepreneur Evolution’s monthly mastermind master classes. Share your horror stores, and get advice from professionals just like your self.
What are some of your horror stories? How did you move past the ordeal? Sound off in the comments below.