3 Good Things About Losing An ‘Important’ Client

October 26, 2012

What makes one client appear more important than the others?

Personally, I think all clients are important. If we have taken the time and energy to qualify and accept them as ideal clients, does that not make them important?

For most service professionals, important clients generate lots of fee revenue.

Financial issues aside, losing an ‘important’ client is not always and automatically a bad thing.

Here are 3 good things about losing an ‘important’ client.

1. It’s A Good Wake-Up Call

With a steady flow of income from an ‘important’ client, it’s easy to forget about such things as providing great service for all clients and marketing to attract more and better clients.

Great client service helps generate repeat and referral business from existing clients. And good marketing attracts the kinds of clients that you love to serve.

Nothing emphasizes the importance of focusing on serving existing clients and attracting new ones better than the loss of a high-revenue client.

2. ‘Important’ Clients Are Not Always Ideal Clients

One law firm in which I worked had a mid-sized mortgage lender as a client. This client insisted that its clients, the mortgagors, have the necessary legal work done by our firm. The steady flow of fee revenue ensured all of us that we would receive our pay checks.

But the mortgagors were among the most annoying and obnoxious clients I have ever worked with. With their over-fed sense of entitlement, they were unhappy with everything from having to deal with our law firm to our unwillingness to go to their homes on weekends to look after the legal work.

Nothing pleased them. But as long as the fee revenue continued to flow, the firm eagerly accepted each new client file.

I was happy when I left the security of the steady revenue flow in favor of choosing the clients I wanted to serve.

3. Opportunity To Revise Your Plan For Success

When a high-revenue client leaves, clearly one of our priorities is to replace lost revenue.

What better time to consider new and potentially more profitable revenue sources?

Replacing lost revenue does not mean delivering the same service that produced the lost revenue. Perhaps there are other services that could deliver but have never had the time because of your commitment to the now departed ‘important’ client.

But why stop there? Maybe it’s time to re-evaluate your business plan. It’s possible that the client’s departure is a sign of things to come.

Every cloud has its silver lining.

How would you turn the loss of a high-revenue client into a positive development?


2 Responses to “3 Good Things About Losing An ‘Important’ Client”

  1. John Kreiss Says:

    It’s hard to imagine that losing a client is a good thing, unless that client is a “bad” client who needs to be fired. It’s like playing a football game. If you don’t play well, but still win, then learning can still stake place. If the client is lost, learn from the situation, and move on.

  2. david r frick Says:

    I too remember similar times when changes with my suppliers meant as much as a 30% cut to my clients.

    I was always able to quickly bounce back as the cut allowed me to direct more time and energy on my existing clients and focus on growing in the proper direction with new clients. After a while; I looked to ‘fire clients’ on a steady basis in order to keep growing.

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