The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Breaking Up With a Client Is Hard To Do
Break-ups are awkward and stressful. People’s feelings get hurt, polite conversations turn into heated arguments, and both of you are probably going to say some things you don’t mean. By the way, we’re not talking about breaking up with a romantic partner. We’re talking about firing a design client.
No matter why you’re letting a client go—whether you’ve simply taken on more work than you can complete or whether you’re tired of a disrespectful, abusive client—a professional break-up can be every bit as messy as a personal one.
The good news is that, as a designer, you have more control over how you want the firing session to go. You’ll even be in a position to help your client through their initial feelings of sadness, frustration, or anger. (By the way, you may want to consider your client’s reaction when you choose a meeting venue. For a client you’re leaving on good terms, a private meeting may be best. If you think a client will be loud or belligerent, meeting in a public space could prevent an outburst.)
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Of course, you’ll need more than just the right location to make firing a client as painless as possible. The infographic shows the eight most important steps you need to take. Learn how to pre-plan (have you looked at your contract lately?), how to talk to your client (are you letting them voice their concerns?), and how to move on when it’s all over.
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How To Fire Your Clients
- Know when to fire
- Look at your contract first
- Do it in person (if you can)
- Be honest, but play to the room
- Listen to them
- Set a deadline
- Keep the door open
- Let it go