The Time Has Come
From time to time we have to make hard choices in life. Sometimes these choices include saying good-bye to a client. Here are a few ways you can do it while still maintaining the peace and your own integrity.
Good – Bad – Good
This principle has been around for a long time. The idea behind it is to try to find something good about the client, then explain the problems, and end with something good. This way the client gets his or her bad news sandwiched between two less painful explanations.
For example, tell the client that you have really appreciated his or her business for however long they were there. Then explain that things are just not working out to meet the expectations of either party. Explain some of the reasons you feel your company can no longer provide them with your service.
Finally, you can explain to the client that the separation is best for the both of you. The client can go out and find a better place to fulfill their needs. It has become clear that your company “obviously” cannot provide the service they need. Your company won’t hurt him, and he or she can excel with someone else.
You have heard the expression “the customer is always right.” Using this formula will maintain this by letting them know that your company is not right for them, but there are some out there that could be.
Don’t Burn The Bridge
This step couldn’t be more important. Just remember good or bad customers are all customers. Even if they are not working with you, they do have mouths. Word of mouth can spread quickly. If the word is good, you will gain more business. If bad, it can only hurt you.
It is easy to see that if you leave a bad taste in their mouth, they will probably tell a lot of people. By being nice, they will respect you, and explain to others that your company didn’t work out for them, BUT your company was a good company all the same.
In addition, you never know if they may eventually return in the future. Chances are they were the difficult ones or you probably wouldn’t want to get rid of them.
By using the formula above, they will remember that you were honest. If the day comes they find another business and express the same behavior, they will probably lose that one too. If they reflect, see the errors they made on their own. They may just come back and apologize.
Shake Hands Forms A Truce
The tradition of shaking hands is commonly believed to have started as a way for warriors to offer truce by putting forth their empty weapon hand. In doing this, they are offering a peace. When letting go of a client, this can work in a similar way. You can express that you mean them no harm and wish them luck on their journey.