Q: What is the best way to go about breaking up with a client who isn't the right fit for your company?
A: Be honest. "Explain why you are not able to help them as a client. Nothing beats the truth. Be sure to be clear and polite when ending a relationship. If possible, offer alternative businesses as suggestions for them to research so they have an idea of what direction to go in to find what they are looking for." Jessica Baker, Aligned Signs
Say your professional goodbyes. "Be professional about it. Finish any pending projects you're working on and then inform them once you invoice them that it's time you part ways. Make sure to look at the contract you signed with them to give enough advance notice, if applicable. Thank them for the business and support that they gave you, and let them know that you feel you're no longer the best fit for their needs." Steven Buchwald, Buchwald & Associates
Part on positive terms. "Firing a client can be one of the most liberating feelings. The trick is to do it gracefully. We approach it by explaining the client's success is always our ultimate goal and that, unfortunately, our resources aren't always the right match for a particular organization's objectives. In that case, we would much rather part on good terms, knowing we have put them on the path toward future success." Joshua Moe, Odigia
Schedule a personal meeting. "Yes, it is difficult to speak to someone directly when delivering bad news. However, I believe the best way to break up with a client is to speak to them in person in order to explain. This allows you to avoid burning bridges." Ajmal Saleem, Suprex Learning
Be polite but firm. "Unfortunately, we've had to do this a few times with some medical transcription clients. It didn't matter what we did for them -- it was never enough. We emailed them a detailed list of our call log for the previous 90 days and asked them to review it and get back to us with their thoughts. They ignored it, so we asked them to find someone else to work with as they weren't the right fit for us." Ben Walker, Transcription Outsourcing, LLC
Keep emotions out of it. "When breaking up with a client, be careful to keep emotions in check and to keep it professional. It is not always necessary to offer an explanation for your decision. Express gratitude for the past partnership and share that you will be taking your business in another direction as of a specific date. Then provide a road map for moving forward and completing any outstanding work." Emily Richett, Richett Media