Do you drop that client? Sucks for everyone, but maybe it doesn’t have to.

This is always a tough question, because it’s sensitive, there’s a big reputation factor on the line with both yourself and client, and it should be something that’s a last resort.

You and your clients are running businesses, you are adults, having difficult conversations such as this will happen.

First and foremost, you have to deliver what you say you would, as best you could.

I think that goes without saying.

But we’ve all faced situations in our service business where this question can pop into our heads:

  • Where a client doesn’t pay on time
  • The client is non-responsive
  • Client didn’t communicate fully
  • There were unrealistic expectations
  • Scope continues to change
  • You want to move away from that type of service
  • Too many bumps in the road and the trust on both sides has eroded away

Areas of responsibility

When this question pops into your head, it’s important to really take a look at the road to this point.

Who was responsible for what and how did each party know that?

What were the terms?

Why did it get to this point?

Having an objective look at the situation may highlight things that can be solved and prevented in the future.

Own your mistakes, even if your client doesn’t own theirs. This is where the high road will always win out.

Set aside time to talk

As much as the conversation is going to suck, you have to reach out and set aside some time to have a conversation with the client.

Ending the relationship should be the last resort, because depending on all the aspects of it, it could get messy very fast.

Instead, see if there can be some level of compromise met. You may have to give a little to get a little here. This is especially in the case of getting paid and timelines. If there has been set terms, or no terms at all, signed in a contract that you are looking to alter, compromise is key.

However if there is total fault on yourself or your client, then there needs some accountability there.

If it’s late payment, the way to handle that is to stop doing work until the payment has been caught current.

Some explanation here may be needed and proof, so don’t go into the conversation without that.

Don’t point fingers

It’s imperative to not place blame and point fingers.

Explain that there’s an issue in the engagement, and offer up some possible solutions with some hard guidelines.

When you start placing blame, it lowers the professionalism of the relationship further and no one likes to feel like a kid on the playground being blamed for losing the ball.

[optin-monster-shortcode id="bzuygihht1q3oswohwvi"]

Running your freelance business

Struggles with time management? Which emails to send off and when? Wonder what type of software to use? Here are the answers you’ll want to have a listen to.
See all topics

More episodes in this topic:

17

What do you do when a crisis hits?

18

How to start building an email list as a freelancer?

20

How do you manage time wearing so many hats as a freelancer?

28

What software tools do you use for business? What is best?

32

How do you prevent, manage scope creep in your projects?

34

Do you schedule in time for exploring or reading articles online?

38

What is the best way to get income fast?

40

What happens if you can’t define a scope of work on a call?

41

What do I do first thing Monday morning?

47

How can I focus on my business when I’ve got a ton client work?

53

Do I have to be concerned with GDPR?

65

What are the tools and services that you use and would recommend to freelancers?

70

How do you have time for all that you do?

74

What podcasting gear do I use?

78

Does live chat bring you in business?

81

How do you followup with a lead after a proposal?

84

Did hiring a mentor really help you with starting up your business or your career?

87

What is my writing process

88

What is the easiest way to get a remote testimonial?

91

How do you determine a quality prospect?

115

How do you step away and actually take a vacation?

116

Are job boards reliable?

123

How to decrease the sales cycle or time to close?

127

How would you write a cold outreach email?

130

How to present different services that could potentially diminish your abilities in the minds of clients?

132

Should I bundle projects for clients or keep projects separate per client?

133

What product do you use for your business that you can’t live without?

135

What makes you stand out from other freelancers?

136

Do I drop this client?

142

How do I set a goal?

143

Do you meet leads and clients face-to-face?

144

How do I work “ON” my business and not “IN” my business?

147

What is the best structure for setting a goal?

152

How do you do a review of your week?

156

What do I say when a potential client says I’m too expensive?

159

What is activity based selling?

165

How to get more clients?

167

How to have a productive week?

168

Do you use a CRM for your business?

171

How do you choose the technology for your clients?

180

What is the structure of a weekly review?

181

What is the structure of a monthly review?

191

What are lead generation techniques to get me out of the feast and famine revenue cycle?

193

How do I know if I should buy a course?

198

What’s a polite way to tell existing clients you are raising your rates? And what is a reasonable percentage to go up?

199

How many email follow-ups should I send to a lead?

201

What do I do? I’m afraid to filter the tire kickers coming into my business because they are the only leads I have.

202

How to take the next step from contracting resource to solo business owner?

205

What do you think about Gutenberg? Schmutenberg!

206

How do I get better at sales?

207

How to overcome objections in sales?

208

How do I respond to an RFP?

209

How to respond to “I don’t need strategy, can you just do…”?

210

If you don’t have experience, how to you prove the quality without the education/experience?

212

How do you handle a client that has ghosted?

218

What do you ask during a sales call?

219

How to improve your sales process as a freelancer?

222

How to charge more as a freelancer?

225

How do you push past the imposter syndrome?

229

How do you segment your email list?

236

What to say when a client insists on adding something new?

257

What kind of content should I promote to potential clients?

Related episodes from

Live in the Feast Podcast

Get Every Resource and Content Upgrade

You've made it down here 👏. Put your name and email below and you will get access to all the free resources and content upgrades on the site.