How do you fire a client?

Let’s face it, some clients can be a real nightmare.

There are a whole bunch of tell-tail signs that a client is going to be a major problem for you shortly after or sometimes during your first interaction with them. This can be a phone call, a few emails or worst of all, a face to face meeting.

Remember that you need to be selective when it comes to work you take on, as a bad client can cause more trouble than they’re worth. They can even bankrupt you if you’re not careful.

Some signs they are going to be a client that you just don’t want:

  • “It’s just a quick 5 minute job, it shouldn’t take you long”.
  • “I think we should do it this way, as my [insert family member here] says it’s easy”.
  • “Can you do this for free, I will tell everybody how good you are and you will get loads of business”.
  • “If you offer me a decent discount perhaps we can talk real business”.
  • They can never make up their mind no matter what you do.

If you hear any of these things, a buzzing red alarm should trigger in your head and tell you to just run as far away as possible.

Always remember that no matter how badly your company needs work, you still need to be somewhat selective when choosing clients. Just because they hired (or are trying to hire) you doesn’t mean you have to accept. It takes both parties to be functioning correctly in order to pull of a decent project with no silly issues that could have been avoided.

Already got the nightmare client?

So you have gotten yourself a nightmare client and you now need to get rid of them – I like to call it ClientFiring.

If you have already accepted the work then you have 1 of 2 options:

  1. Give their money back and just say that you cannot continue with the project.
  2. Complete the project and then tell them you will not be able to do any further work with them in the future.

Option 1 is the best bet if you need to get rid of them AS SOON AS POSSIBLE but Option 2 is best if you still need the money and you are quite close to finishing.

Either way you should briefly explain to the client in a professional matter why you will no longer be able to work with them otherwise nobody will know what is going on and they will think that you are the key problem. This is important because bad press is still bad, even if it is nonsense.

Happy decent client finding and watch out for the signs!