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is it time to sack your clients?

February 1, 2011

If you are in business I know you spend a lot of time trying to keep your current clients happy or looking for those new clients – but how long have you spent recently sacking clients?

How many clients have you sacked today?

That’s right. How many clients have you sacked recently?

Last year I sacked my first client. Well, actually I suggested that they were asking for something that I wasn’t the best person to provide and that they might want to consider looking elsewhere.

They did.

It was difficult to do. It was a large organisation.

Lots of potential for future work.

Lots of potential for future grief. Future rework. Future stress.

I was talking to a friend who is a partner in a firm about the experience and he told me that it is an annual event for him. And that it is one of the best things he has ever done for his business.

He asks his employees to nominate the client they would most like to see go. They always choose the one that causes them the most angst – and it turns out, the one who costs the business the most money.

They are contacted and it is politely suggested that another firm will be better placed to meet their needs. Every effort is then made to make the transition to a new service provider as smooth as possible for the client.

The staff have removed a large source of stress from their work life. The business has removed one of the least profitable clients from their books. The client has been respected and has the opportunity to have their needs better met by someone else.

Win.Win. Win.

If you are not in business then your boss or other people within your organisation are your clients. I know someone who has just sacked their boss. He doesn’t have a new boss to go to but he recognised that the stress of working for his existing client just wasn’t worth it. A friend has moved to a different part of the same organisation. She has new clients as well. Both I suspect will be happier, more motivated and better able to serve their clients.

It isn’t necessarily easy to do and change of almost any kind brings its own challenges, but maybe it is time to take a look at your client list and identify one or two who would be better served by being on somebody else’ client list?

***

January was a weird month with the floods and all. What was nice though was the new subscribers who joined. So hello and welcome to David, Sarah, Craig, Jasmina, Beth, Jac, Goviina and Ida.

If you haven’t subscribed yet but enjoyed reading this or my other posts you can subscribe and receive them via email simply by putting your email address into the Email Subscription box just on the right of my blog home page. You will receive a confirmation email (which some systems will think is spam so keep an eye on your junk mail) that you need to acknowledge to complete the subscription process.

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