Pittsburgh Business Times

Should I fire my client?

This one is for the consultants out there and anyone else who can relate. There are times when you will want to sever ties with a client, decline work for a new client, or perhaps refer a client to a colleague. I work very hard to communicate and set expectations, but sometimes there is a disconnect. I have several tests that I would apply to determine which course of action to take:

  • If the client has ethical issues, ditch them and steer your network clear of them.
  • If the client is not setting you and the Team up for success, then drop them. Otherwise, it will be a miserable engagement.
  • If you have a cultural or personality issue with the client, then perhaps a fresh face may be ok by referral. Prep your referral partner first on what to expect.
  • If the client is a margin killer or pain to deal with by way of constant rescheduling, not providing resources or access to data and systems, then consider referring them to someone hungry for work. Get your referral cut up front.

I recall one of my Team members saying, “That’s a client you wish your competition had.” He was right. Have fun and thanks for reading!

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