Losing a client is bad – right? As my CPA likes to say, “It depends.”

I hate the fact that we use the dreaded “Mission-Vision-Values” troika in our work with our clients.  Not that it isn’t powerful and useful – it is at the bedrock of everything we do.  But, it’s an eye-rolling, trite phrase that anyone who suddenly decides to become a consultant starts using.  In fact, it has made a barrier with some of our clients that have gotten burned by some of these well-intentioned folks.

What does this have to do with the title of this blog?  Lots.

Losing a client that isn’t a fit for your Ideal Client Profile is not a bad thing, it’s a great thing. We have all brought on clients that we knew were not the best fits for us – kind of like dating someone that you just know isn’t a good fit but you hope and plan to “work with them”.  As I tell my kids – don’t settle! You will be happier, more productive, less distracted and will be able to bring on folks who are a great fit for you.  Don’t mourn the loss when you lose a client that isn’t a good fit, get on with life and your business to find the clients that are a good fit.

Now the other side of the coin. Losing a client after you made a difference isn’t a bad thing, it’s a really great thing.  If you have made a huge difference for your client and they are happy, you are ready to move on.  It’s okay – you can let them go.  In doing so, remember that you did a lot of great work for them that can help other people.

Then, help them to help you!

Those clients that have to move on after a great relationship can still provide you a testimonial, references, and other things that allow other folks very practical means by which your help is understandable.  Use the great relationship you have forged to spawn other ones and be grateful.

 

Feel better about losing clients now?

An Atlanta native, Alex graduated from Georgia Tech with a Bachelor's degree in Management and received a Master's degree in Information Systems from George Washington University. After a 15-year career in manufacturing, health information management, and financial services, Alex broadened his experience even more by working in diverse industries ranging from multiple professional service verticals (e.g., law, medical, engineering, etc.) to the non-profit sector. He was instrumental in the turn-around of a public company which subsequently sold for $300MM. Alex's root's run deep through the Atlanta community he serves. He is a mentor in the Georgia Tech Mentor Jackets program, President Emeritus of the Georgia Tech Intown Alumni Network, and an event sponsor for the George Washington University Alumni Association Atlanta Club. He currently serves on the boards of Pinecrest Academy and Lifecycle Building Center, a nonprofit community resource whose mission is to make the lifecycle use of the built environment increasingly efficient and sustainable.