When a Client Bails


We have all been there.  We are rolling along nicely, and then a client decides to “move on.”  Maybe we did something wrong or maybe not.  But one things is for sure…it hurts.  What do you do?  How do you bounce back?  Here are my suggestions on the latest DMJ Podcast.  Listen here.

Allow Time to Mourn:  That’s right.  If you have a good client that bails, it hurts.  It’s impossible not to take it personally, so don’t try.  Allow yourself a little time to mourn the loss of the client.  Don’t wallow.  Don’t allow too much time.  But do allow yourself a little time to be hurt…then move on.

Re-assess and be Introspective:  This is a huge step, because you need to come to terms with one simple fact.  “You did not provide enough value.”  It’s hard to admit.  But one way or another, it’s the truth.  You need to create a relationship that they could not imagine walking away from.  If not, you have not provided enough value.  What could you do differently next time?

Consider the Market or Offering:  Now that you have a hole in your client base, how do you want to fill it?  Do you want to go get a client just like the last one?  Or do you want to fish in an entirely different pond.  This is the time to think “Do I just want to do things the way I always have?”  Maybe you do…but ask the question.

Involve the Team:  When something like this happens, I like to share with the team.  I don’t want to shock or scare them.  But I do want them to know.  I also want to create more urgency within the organization.  In addition, it creates more heads working to solve the new “problem.”  It’s time to create a new plan…and more ideas are better.

Re-Attack with Passion:  Once you have gone through the other steps, it’s time to jump back in with passion.  Hopefully you have a plan you are excited about.  Now you need to go back to the marketplace and “embrace the hustle.”  Go get it!

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