Gaining new clients can be tough. When you get them, you want to do your best to keep them happy. But when there’s no pleasing a client, the smartest companies let them go. To put it bluntly, fire them.
It’s tough to fire a client when the competition is fierce and snapping at your heels, and there are steep targets to meet. Just remember, it only takes one bad client to negatively impact your entire business, pretty fast.
To minimize the chances of this happening in the first place, research any potential relationship before getting involved. Ask about their vision and values, work ethics and what’s important to them. You need to know. Find out who they’ve worked with before and ask them about their experience too. Do your homework. Are you really a good match?
The client-agency selection process should be a two-way dialogue, whereby both equally do their checks to find the right partnership. This kicks things off with a mutual respect, bringing out the best in all talent, motivating the teams and encouraging everyone to do their best work.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen enough as the client is perceived to hold the power (the purse strings) and the agency is perceived to be vulnerable (needs the business), with the latter bending over backwards to be a pleaser. This is a no win situation for either party.
You may enter into a relationship that seems like a good match at the time, but somewhere along the way it takes a turn and becomes a living nightmare. Day and night. Knowing when to say “that’s enough” is a tough call, but any self-respecting company needs to take the stance.
How do you know when to do ‘the deed’? Start here:
1. Are they respectful (towards you, your team and your business)?
2. Do they value creativity (what you do, at your best)?
3. Is there a mutual trust?
If your client isn’t respectful towards you and your people, doesn’t value what you do and get out of bed for every day, and there’s a lack of trust between you… it’s a no brainer.
Fire them. Gracefully. And willingly refer them to the competition.
If you value what you do, don’t work with people that don’t.