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It’s Not Me, It’s You: How To Fire a Client
By: Mona Sabbah
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Firing a client is kind of like a breakup. You procrastinate, hoping the relationship will change. You figure out different ways to express your needs, hoping you won’t have to be the dumper. You discuss your issues and try to work around them. But, alas, sometimes you just have to be brave and say “we should see other people.”

So how do you fire a client, politely and amicably? First, you count your blessings that you’re in a position where you can choose who you work with. Second, in the most delicate way, you go to work:
  • Chuck rudeness, the blame game, comparisons, and white lies. There’s only room for truth when firing a client.
  • Use the medium that works best for them. If the two of you had a long-term business relationship, it may be best to meet in person. But if your client is a busy person, always traveling, or maybe you’ve always communicated electronically, it may be best to do it via email.
  • Make sure you prepare a list of items you’d like to express or use as reasons for this “breakup.” These items can be specific examples/situations that have happened throughout the relationship or more vague, such as “going in different directions.”
  • This is the time to be politically correct. Communicate without judgment or blame; just clearly state your case and listen to the response. This is a two-way conversation.
  • Remember, there’s always two sides to a story, so make sure to agree to disagree respectfully. You don’t want to burn bridges. This industry is a very small one, and you never know when your paths will cross again.

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About the Author
Mona Sabbah is a Senior Copywriter/Creative Director with over 12 years of experience writing for print, TV, radio, and online. Mona has worked on a number of accounts from The Florida Lottery to Air Canada and Keiser University. You can see some of her work at http://www.miamicopywriter.com/. Find her on Twitter at @miamicopywriter.
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