How to Fire a Client

How to fire a client

How to fire a client and still have them say “Thank you!”

It happens to all business owners at one point in their businesses. The dreaded moment when you need to fire a client. Sometimes we end up with clients who have the best intentions, but just aren’t working out. Maybe they are taking too long to get back to you with feedback, maybe they aren’t committed to the process, or maybe you are having a serious clash in personalities. Whatever it is, at first it might feel awkward to say “Bye Felicia” when the time is right, but you can do it in a way that doesn’t leave them feeling like you just dumped them, but instead has them saying “thank you.” Sound far-fetched? It can be done! Read on:

  1. Have a Backup plan for them

If you’re ready to say adios to a client, especially if it’s someone you have worked with for some time, it can be nice to offer them a backup plan. Now, if your client is a real pain in the you know what, it might not make sense to pawn them off on someone else. But, for those clients who are generally good, but maybe need a little more hand-holding than you have time to give, or perhaps stylistically they just aren’t a match, it can feel like less of a sting if you have someone else in your network to refer them to. When you bring this up, let them know that you have been thinking about it, and you feel like they would be better served by working with (fill in the blank). This way, they won’t feel like you are just leaving them in their moment of need, but instead that you are helping them get the most out of their business.

  1. Have an exit plan for them

If you are working month to month with a client, let them know the end date for your services. Unless it is a volatile situation, it makes sense to give them some notice that your contract will be coming to an end. If it is a one-time project that you will not be completing, have a plan in place for how much of the project will be complete before they get their walking papers. Of course, if you have the back up plan to offer them, it makes the exit strategy much easier to present and follow through on.

  1. Be clear about your reasons

If you need to fire a client for any reason, be clear with them about why. You don’t have to let them know you think they’re an a**hole (if that’s the case), but let them know (in the politest terms you can muster) why the relationship is not working out. This gives them a clear understanding of what went wrong, and also ends the potential back and forth that could occur if they want to try to convince you to stay on.

  1. Have a clause in your contract

Now, this is something that won’t help you if the relationship is already in progress, but keep this in mind for any future clients you sign up. There should always be a clause in your contract (especially for long term client relationships) that states how things can be brought to an end if needed. This will potentially save you a lot of heartache down the road if you can point to a specific clause in your contract when ending the relationship. If you don’t already have this in place, you may want to talk to a lawyer to make sure you add in the right language that will hold up, should that need ever arise.

When it comes to firing a client, it is never a fun process, but it doesn’t have to be a completely agonizing experience either. You can part ways with a client and have them thank you for it if they feel like you did it in their best interest as much as your own.

Have you ever had to fire a client? Leave a comment below and let me know how it went!


Dawn About Image 5BIO

Dawn Sinkule, the Founder of Virtual Point Solutions, is an MBA graduate, Strategy and Business Growth Consultant as well as a Certified Online Business Manager with more than 16 years of corporate experience working for a Fortune 50 company. Dawn and her team work with passionate six figure business owners who want to grow, expand, and explode their businesses. Dawn and the VPS team provide your choice of  self-implementation or fully done for you solutions, and both include detailed business strategies, automation, systems, and most importantly the satisfaction of knowing your business is heading the right direction. Her clients get not only the experience of a Fortune 50 leader, but also a personalized and customized strategy as well as an implementation team: AKA your secret weapon for success. Check out her website and grab her FREE 4 Systems you Never Knew You Needed to Crush Chaos and Put Profit First (finally!). Connect with Dawn and her team on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

 

 

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How to look like you have a team – even when you don’t

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If you’ve been at your business for some time and starting to grow, you’ve probably realized that the companies that make a huge splash in any industry are the ones that have a team in place. While I always recommend outsourcing when and what you can, sometimes you just can’t afford to hire a full or part time team. I get it, and that’s why I put together the ultimate “fake it till you make it” checklist so you can look like you have a team, even when you don’t.

Outsource single projects when you can: You don’t need a full or part time team in order to outsource here and there. If you have a particularly packed month, perhaps you can find some tasks you can hire out temporarily. Some areas to consider outsourcing are social media management, bookkeeping, visual identity, website updates, or even tasks at home such as housekeeping or laundry to free up more hours for you to stick to your zone of genius.

Have an Admin or a Support email address: If you want to give clients the impression that you have a team, or to get set up for a team in the future, think about having an email address called admin@, info@, help@, or support@. Now, I’m not saying you should make up a fake person who is “answering” those emails, because that’s just weird right? But this secondary email address will give the appearance of a team member, which is what we want. You can have them forwarded to your current email for the time being, so that you’re not answering two email addresses, and when you are ready to bring on a VA or admin person to take over those tasks you already have the address in place and your clients will be accustomed to this way of doing business.

Get a CRM: A CRM (customer relationship manager) will help you stay organized and professional in your business, even without administrative support. Think of it as a digital assistant. A CRM will let you see metrics for your business, view the history of a particular client communication, and can function like an assistant because you can remind yourself of key facts about a client that you may not remember off the top of your head. When you do get a team in place, this will also be a great tool to help them track their work. While there are many CRMs on the market, here at VPS we love Mailchimp for staying in touch with our clients.

Put as much on autopilot as you can: If you are running a one man or woman show, try to automate as much as you can to give the impression of a team working behind the scenes. There are many things you can automate in your business and save yourself time. Things like booking appointments can be done through calendar software, you can automate contracts and invoices through software like 17hats*, and  you can also automate your social media posting through Hootsuite or Buffer. Not only will you save yourself some serious headaches by automating anything and everything you can, but when things are working like clockwork it’s hard to imagine there isn’t a team working behind the scenes.

Get a team: The reality is, if you want to grow your business into an empire you really do need a team in place to help you get there. When you’re ready, start with a VA. There  are many VAs who have small packages of 5 or 10 hours per month, so you can build your team slowly. If you’re ready to bring someone on your team for just a few hours a month check out Virtual Biz Connect or Entre Team to help you find the right VA for you. After working with a VA you will find your business start to grow and you can eventually work your way up to a growth strategist like me 🙂

Remember that a great team is actually an investment in your business, not an expense. When you stick to your zone of genius and outsource the rest you can really start to grow and expand.

What questions do you have about getting a team together? Let me know in the comments below.

*Some of the links provided are affiliate links, meaning I may receive compensation if you choose to purchase (and if you do, please use my link!). I only recommend services I personally use and love, so rest assured that while “they” may pay me if you buy I would gladly promote these services with or without compensation.


Dawn-About-Image-5-300x254BIO

Dawn Sinkule, the Founder of Virtual Point Solutions, is an MBA graduate, Strategy and Business Growth Consultant as well as a Certified Online Business Manager with more than 16 years of corporate experience working for a Fortune 50 company. Dawn and her team work with passionate six figure business owners who want to grow, expand, and explode their businesses. Dawn and the VPS team provide your choice of  self-implementation or fully done for you solutions, and both include detailed business strategies, automation, systems, and most importantly the satisfaction of knowing your business is heading the right direction. Her clients get not only the experience of a Fortune 50 leader, but also a personalized and customized strategy as well as an implementation team: AKA your secret weapon for success. Check out her website and grab her FREE 4 Systems you Never Knew You Needed to Crush Chaos and Put Profit First (finally!). Connect with Dawn and her team on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

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5 Ways to Find the Right Client

5 Ways to Find the Right Client

 

One of the biggest issues I hear from my clients is the struggle to find the right customers and how to build their customer base. I watch people search in all the wrong places, and then scratch their heads about why they haven’t added any new business. Finding clients doesn’t have to be hard, here is a simple list I put together on ways to add customers to your business.

 

1. Referrals

The best way to get new business is to ask for referrals from the customers they have already served. People who have experienced the service or product are more likely to refer friends or other business owners. Referrals convert higher than any other lead source and as a business owner, never be afraid to ask for a referral.

 

2. Join a Networking Group

“If I am a new business how do I get referrals?” New firms that work in virtual space feel like all of their new clients must come from someplace online. I disagree, I have found getting connected in your local community will bring in, even more, business. Finding a local networking group and join. The physical connection will increase and broaden your client options.

 

3. Guest Blogging

A simple way to be seen as an expert in your field is to Guest Blog. Larger blogs will host guests as a way to drive new traffic to their page. Guest Blogging is an opportunity for a business to highlight their expertise. Need relevant content? Check out resources like http://alltop.com. Not sure where to find blogging opportunities? Use resources like http://www.petersandeen.com/list-of-guest-blogging-sites/  Guest Blogging is an easy way to get in front of a new client base and reach a wider audience.

 

4. Partner

Partner with non-competing companies. Find another company or companies that offer products or services in a similar niche. Work in partnership with direct referrals. I have found this is an easy way to build my own business. This works similar to an affiliate program, that way when your partner company doesn’t offer a particular service, they can partner with you and you both can benefit.

 

5. Speaking Engagements

In the world of virtual business, it is hard for future clients to get a sense of the person(s) behind the company. If a customer can put a face and personality to the company name; it will personalize the business. Remember Marketing 101, Know, Like, Trust? This applies even more in the virtual space, but if you can find in-person conferences, industry social events, local networking groups (remember point #2) then you instantly build credibility with your audience.  Don’t be afraid of public speaking. Just do it.

With a little bit of creativity and effort on the part of the new business, you will have new clients coming to you instead of you having to go out in search of new business. Don’t over complicate things, leverage your resources and referrals, get connected in a local networking organization, guest blog, get linked to non-competing companies, and find places to speak publicly.

Ready to get a growth plan in place? Book in a FREE Strategy Session here. 


Dawn-About-Image-5-300x254BIO

Dawn Sinkule, the Founder of Virtual Point Solutions, is an MBA graduate, Strategy and Business Growth Consultant as well as a Certified Online Business Manager with more than 16 years of corporate experience working for a Fortune 50 company. Dawn and her team work with passionate six figure business owners who want to grow, expand, and explode their businesses. Dawn and the VPS team provide your choice of self-implementation or an entirely done for you solutions, and both include detailed business strategies, automation, systems, and most importantly the satisfaction of knowing your business is heading the right direction. Her clients get not only the experience of a Fortune 50 leader but also a personalized and customized strategy as well as an implementation team: AKA your secret weapon for success. Check out her website and grab her FREE 4 Systems you Never Knew You Needed to Crush Chaos and Put Profit First (finally!). Connect with Dawn and her team on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn.

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