When is a loss a win?
In business, no one likes to lose. But sometimes a loss is a win, especially when client relationships are costing you more in time, aggravation, and frustration than they’re adding to your bottom line. But how do you know when to let go, when it is no longer a mutually beneficial relationship?
The following questions can help serve as a guide for professional services industries as they tighten their client lists:
• Do you and the client have the same goal – and is it realistic?
• In the last year, have you been able to move this client closer to the goal through your efforts?
• Are you able to communicate in a frank and open manner?
• Is the client as invested in the process as you are? Does he/she devote the time needed to move the process forward?
• Do plans outweigh demands? Or is the reverse true?
• Is there trust? Can you trust your client to stick to the plan (for Arco, this would mean trusting the client to stay on message in interviews, show up for media appearances, etc.)?
These are some questions you should ask yourself before making a decision about discontinuing a client relationship. If you’ve never let a client go before, the process and culminating conversation can feel overwhelming. The end result, however, is freedom—and more time to devote to the clients for whom you are making a measurable, methodical difference.