How to Let Go of a Client

Hey there! Welcome back to another episode of the podcast. I’m so happy you’re here. Last week we talked about what to do when you lose a client so today we’re flipping the script and diving into how to let go of a client. 

So let’s be real, we’ve probably all had a point in our business where we agreed to work with a client who had some red flags in the beginning that we unfortunately ignored. Whether out of desperation of needing money, dealing with imposter syndrome, or a plethora of other potential reasons. 

Now, you’ve been working with them for a while and their red flags have only multiplied. So you know what that means, it’s time to part ways. I know, I know it’s not the easiest conversation to have but honestly, the longer you put it off the harder it’s going to be. 

Take me for instance, I got my very first podcast client back at the end of 2018 and I didn’t part ways with her until mid-2021 – almost 3 years later, even though she stopped being an ideal client at the end of 2019. So don’t be like me because the chances of that client getting better are slim to none whereas the chances of them getting worse is way more likely. 

So let’s dive into some tips to let go of a client as easily as humanly possible. 

Be honest but don’t go overboard – I think the most important step in letting go of a client is, to be honest with them about why you’re ending. It could simply be that you’re no longer offering that service or you could even just say you feel like you’re no longer the best fit. You don’t need to go into too much detail because that’s not really going to be beneficial in the long run. 

What I like to do is write out a long email that goes heavily into detail about what went wrong and why, and then I delete the draft, walk away and clear my mind. I know that sounds counterintuitive, but honestly, it really helps me process the situation and get out all of my emotions without doing something I’m going to regret. Then, I come back later when I’m feeling more level-headed and craft the real email I’m going to send.

It helps me tremendously and I have even had team members tell me that they started doing this before sending emails to make sure that they were coming at the situation with a level head and not letting their emotions get the best of them after I shared with them what I typically do. 

Don’t drag it out – Within your email, it’s important to include when you will stop working with them. My contract has an easy out where I can cease working with them immediately if I decide to but for the most part, I usually give them 30 days’ notice as a courtesy. So anything from 2 weeks to a month is acceptable. If this person is absolutely 100% unbearable to work with, then you can certainly just say all work will cease immediately but I’m in the camp of not leaving people high and dry no matter what.

Offer to help find their replacement (depending on the situation) – Now, I definitely don’t think this is necessary for every client who you let go but I think it can be a nice gesture. I typically offer it up to any client that I let go of. Some take me up on it, while others don’t but I think it leaves a nice last impression for them. Now, I will say I haven’t had a client where I felt like I needed to let go of them immediately but in that case, I would not offer this up because I wouldn’t want to recommend them to anyone. 

Okay, I’d love to know. Have you ever had to let go of a client? I’d love to know over on Instagram at jenny.suneson – let’s chat about it! 

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