6 Do's and Don'ts for Saying Goodbye to a Client

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Ryan Larkin
Ryan Larkin




We’ve all had it happen.

Maybe they just weren’t happy anymore, maybe they had a change in management with an agenda, or maybe -- brace for it -- they found someone else.

Clients leave. It happens. Yet, we still don't know how to deal with it some days. 

Here are six do’s and don’ts to remember when you get the "break up" call: 

1) DO Consider the Client's Perspective

Step into the client's shoes. See this from his perspective. Did he ask for something several times before it was delivered? Were the deliverables not to the standard that was promised? Maybe there were costs that weren’t discussed up-front? Try to understand where the client is coming from.

2) DO Learn From Your Mistakes

When you have discovered the client's pain point and reasoning for leaving, learn from the experience as best you can. Develop new processes. Maybe revisit and re-learn current processes. Whatever you take away from this break up, use it. Maybe you can even prevent similar situations from happening if the future. At the very least, you'll make some improvements to your current processes. 

3) DON'T Act Like a Spurned Lover

Be rude or discourteous to the client or the agency they may have hired. This will not make the situation any better -- if anything, you will only ruin your chances of winning back your client’s business in the future. This type of behavior can also ruin your reputation within the field.

4) DO Act Like a Professional 

Be professional. If you exercise expertise and professionalism when transferring your client’s account over (and potentially train the new agency up on the account), it will showcase your skill and care for the client's business. Not a bad way to leave a relationship.

5) DON'T Point Fingers 

Place all the blame on one person. It’s easy to point fingers and blame individual instances, but the reality is that the entire team is responsible for the client’s success; and it’s the team that needs to own it.

6) DO Move On

Move on. Once you’ve understood the reasons the client left, learned from it, and acted gracefully in his departure, it is time to let go. There will be (many) more clients that enter your life and agency, and they deserve your attention. Don’t dwell on what may have been with the client you had.


Topics: Losing Clients

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