On this week’s Dirty Secrets of Small Business, Jack Mencini and Adam Sonnhalter, cohosts and also business owners of Maximum Value Partners, www.maximumvp.com discuss the topics: When was the last time you fired a client and how do you know when it is time to fire a client?
“We have dealt with countless situations with our MVP clients who have clients of their own who have become challenging and needed to be fired. It’s the old ‘addition by subtraction’ thing with these customers. Once the owner realizes how much stress these bad customers are putting on the them, their employees, and the overall organization, they realize they will be better off without them,” commented Adam.
When one of MVP’s prospective clients was recently explaining a situation about a bad customer, her body language and tear-filled eyes were clearly saying that this client was causing her stress and a great deal of anxiety. MVP told her to end the misery and “hand over what you have done and walk away.”
“At this point you have lost money on this business relationship with no end in site so why do you keep working with them?” She countered with the fact that the client had ‘deeper pockets’ than her and she didn’t want to be sued. She also didn’t want this client talking badly about her and her firm if things didn’t end well. When MVP countered with the fact that it’s good for the soul to fight some of these battles even if it means getting sued plus she would have a very strong case to present to any judge or mediator. As far as the “talking badly” thing, if this client is truly a bozo then folks who are worth anything wouldn’t put much credence in him talking bad about her or her firm. Adam explained that ‘the pain in the butt clients’ are pains in the butt for everyone.
This is when the real reason came out for why she hadn’t yet fired this client, she didn’t know how. She described the client as somewhat of a bully and unreasonably demanding. She teared up again as she described how intimidated she was and said it was a woman thing of dealing with a man in business who felt he could bully her. So we role played several scenarios for how to terminate this client and make it a positive outcome for her. By the end of that discussion, she wanted Adam to join her for the conversation with this client!
To hear more about how and when to fire a client and many more insights on running a small business, access the February 13 podcast and all the Dirty Secrets of Small Business podcasts on iTunes or at http://maximumvp.com/dirty-secrets-small-business-radio-show-podcast/
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