Should You Fire Bad Clients?

We all have clients that we dread dealing with. You know exactly who I am talking about. I’m sure several names just came to mind. These are the clients that waste so much time with you yet they only buy a small amount of products or services. When it comes down to numbers, you are actually losing money on them. With the hours you are wasting for a $50 sale, that’s time you could have been helping another client or prospecting for new sales. So my question to you is, “Should you fire a bad client?”

My thoughts are ABSOLUTELY. Cut ’em loose. But how? It’s probably not good for business to just tell them that you don’t want to deal with them because they take up too much time. So what can you do? You can always come up with some extra “research” fees or other fees to help facilitate the firing. In most cases, these types of customers do not want to pay extra for anything. They want you to spend unlimited time on them and give them a rock bottom price. If you fall into this, you lose every time. If by some chance they agree to pay the extra fees, then you have covered your time and maybe your bad client has just turned into a good client.

Here’s another option: Just tell them that you have other tasks awaiting you. Tell them that time is money and you can’t spend hours on this project without incurring additional charges. Explain to them that attorneys, graphic designers, web designers, and most other professionals get paid by the hour for the work they do and that your profession is no different.

However you handle firing your bad clients, it should be a varied approach depending on your specific clients and your given situation, which will be different for every business. Handle the situation tactfully and be respectful. Honesty can go a long way. And in the end, if you lose this customer, you actually win.

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