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How to break up with your not-so-ideal clients

how-to-break-up-with-not-so-ideal-clients

We’ve all come across not-so-ideal clients in our business. It’s pretty much inevitable in the beginning.

Ones that seems to suck all of our energy, hold small mistakes over our head and question everything we do.

These clients are not only energy-sucks, but also time and money sucks. They take time away from your best clients, they consume your thoughts and they’re typically low revenue-generators.

Maybe they haggle you on pricing or hire you for things you don’t necessarily want or like to do.

Either way, they’re like leaches.

And you’ll get to a point where you realize without them, you’ll have more time and energy to focus on your best clients… The ones who pay you premium prices, who value your expertise and who trust your decisions. You want more of those clients.

So, in order to make room for more of your best clients, you ultimately need to break up with your not-so-ideal (let’s shorten that to NSI, shall we?) clients.

And there is a classy way of doing this that doesn’t make you look like an ungrateful biatch.

 

Here are three graceful ways:

1. Eliminate services that don’t make you any money. 

Which, ironically (or not), are probably the services that your NSI clients hire you for. Simply send an email to the clients who hire you for this service and let them know about the decision you’ve come to.

It could be something as simple as this:

::::::::::

Hey there (client name),

Hope you’re having an awesome afternoon. I just wanted to pop in to share some recent updates to my business that may affect our working relationship.

After much pondering, help + brainstorming, I’ve decided to stop offering ___________ (insert the service you’re no longer offering). Turns out, it’s totally out of my zone of genius, and I like to spend all of my time servicing clients in my sweet spot, as I know you do, as well.

I won’t leave you hanging though, we’ll finish up our current project together first.

If you’d like to continue working together, I am turning my focus to ___________ (insert service that you’re focusing on now). If you’re interested, please let me know.

xo {insert your name}

::::::::::

The key here is to not lower your prices for these NSI clients. In fact, you may even want to make those prices for the services you are focused on a tad bit higher for them. Which leads to the next point…

 

2. Raise your prices.

There’s a funny thing that happens when you charge premium prices.

First, the NSI clients run for the doors because they’re looking for the cheap option.

And second, your clients tend to trust your expertise more and treat you better.

So not only do you eliminate the bad eggs, but you’re also drawing in more higher-paying clients. #winning

 

3. Send a “it’s me, not you” email explaining your decision to no longer work with them. 

The reason? Because you can no longer complete work for them at the level you hold standard in your biz because of x, y and z reason.

Then, offer them alternative solutions that will work better for them, like someone else that might be a better fit for them.

 

Tell me: have you had to break up with any NSI clients? How did you do it, how did you feel afterwards and what has happened because of the breakup?

I love a juicy breakup story. Tweet to me or leave a comment. I’m dying to hear it.

 

  • Funny you should mention this because I’ve got an email from an NSI sitting in my inbox. Does not share my values at all! And I’ve been thinking about raising my prices too, so maybe you’ve just solved my problem with your genius advice. Thanks Amanda.

    • Amanda Genther

      Funny how timing works, right?! :) Glad this is going to help you, because there’s nothing worse than an NSI client sucking energy away from your dream clients!

  • I’ve been working on a new pricing strategy, so this article couldn’t have come at a better time. During my first year in business I’ve been mostly lucky with the clients I’ve worked with, but I’ve also had my share of NSIs. As you say, they end up sucking waaay too much time and energy. I like your ideas on how to deal with this. Thanks, Amanda!

    • Amanda Genther

      Yay! I’m so glad. :)

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