Written by: Debra Abraham, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise
So, a client has just informed you that they will no longer require your services.
How does that affect you mentally and emotionally?
Let's analyze some of the reactions and emotions many of us, business owners go through when a client decides to 'break up' with our business.
Hurt. This is probably the most common of emotions felt. That pang right in the middle of our chests as we think about the injustice of our clients turning their backs on us. This may at times evolve into anger, once again as we think about the injustice of it all, and as we question the audacity of them walking away from the top-notch services we have rendered. At times, some of us may walk down the road of self-doubt and start analyzing if we are good enough at our skills, questioning and re-questioning if there was something we could have done to have stopped our clients from terminating their business relationships with us.
Here's the thing- we have got to accept that clients are going to come and go! It is a natural process and occurrence in a business.
But how do we deal with it? Especially if the client who has decided to leave is a huge account and their absence will cause a noticeable dent in our bottom lines?
Here are 5 Steps on How to Deal With Clients Saying Goodbye
1. Envision the Future
Yes, I am asking you to become a clairvoyant. Look into the future and know that at some point in the future, there will come a time for you and your client to part ways. Don't get me wrong, I am not asking you to be a paranoid, overthinking business owner. All I am saying is, keep in mind that the client you just signed will one day move on. This realization and acceptance will help you manage your emotions when the time comes. Clients may leave for a myriad of reasons i.e, their goals have been achieved, their expectations have not been met, a change of direction in their lives or businesses, contrasting ideas, budget issues etc. However, your purpose in their lives is to fulfill their current objectives and hopefully also their future objectives if the opportunity is given to you. Otherwise, make sure you are on top of your game, provide the best quality of work, be proud of your contributions and let go.
Ensure that you have a variety of account sizes. If you find that one client is contributing the biggest portion to your earnings, it is time to balance it out and find a mix of small and medium sized clients to equal or surpass the value of your biggest client. Having one client contribute the biggest percentage to your earnings is a risky situation and will cause you much anxiety. You will bend over backward and perform somersaults for that one client even when it is not fair to you and your business just to make them stay. I will put it plainly again, at some point, they will leave and imagine the mental, emotional and financial stress you will have to deal with. Always remember to assess your business income- will your business be able to survive and stay profitable without that huge account? Ensuring that you have enough accounts to keep your business in operation, even if your biggest client walks away, will alleviate the stress of the situation when it happens.
3. Don't Take it Personally
Speak with the client to find out if there is anything they were unhappy with and see if you can remedy the situation. If the client still maintains the decision to move on, accept the decision, wish them well and move on. At times, clients may also be experiencing private struggles they may not want to fully disclose to you. As long as they are abiding by the exit policy stated in your business contract when you were hired, all is fair. Let them go.
4. Analyze and Improve
It is always good practice to have a feedback form for clients to voice out areas in your business that needs improvement and even state areas of your business they are happy with. Once they have made the decision to exit your fold, check in with them and take note of their feedback so you can improve your business services.
5. Make Room for the New
There is a verse in the Bible which is apt:
"And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins." Mark 2:22
As your business grows and evolves, you will have changes in direction, new product offerings and updated prices. These changes may not always resonate with your old customers. Some may understand and continue to journey with you, but some may decide to disembark. Bid them bon voyage graciously as they have been a part of your business journey and may decide to come on board once again in the future. Notice this- an open palm signifies not only the release of the old but also the readiness to receive the new.
Have a meaningful Christmas and a wonderful 2021!
Debra Abraham, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Debra Abraham, founder of Rockstarz Performing Arts Studios, has been coaching students of all ages to find their identities and be empowered through music. She leads a team of instructors who are skilled at providing music education in a nurturing & student-centered environment, allowing students to boldly express themselves. Currently working on building her online singing community, she believes in empowering people to pursue their dreams, free themselves of limiting beliefs and inspire others through their journey. She aspires to inspire small business owners in the areas of mindset & personal development, which will lead towards positive transformation of themselves and their businesses.