When Client Relationships Don’t Work

November 6, 2012

As is usually the case, whenever the topic of firing clients comes up, the theme of relationships gone wrong enters the discussion.

In addition to my suggestion of 3 Reasons to Fire Clients, readers added their own suggestions:

For example, in the Financial Advisor Magazine LinkedIn Group, John B. Kelly, CFP commented:

“…when you are wasting each others time and they aren’t respectful enough to be honest with you!”

In the same group Dick Power, CFP® added the comment:

“When they keep returning with the same problem and don’t implement your recommendations.”

In Marketing the Law Firm, another LinkedIn Group, Matt Burkinshaw identified the learning opportunity.:

“When compelled to end a relationship the lawyer [or any service professional] should also analyze what happened and try to figure out why the relationship didn’t work. Either something went wrong during the relationship or the client should not have been taken in the first place. Usually the problem could have been prevented or minimized.”

All of these comments apply to my decision to eliminate at least three client initiatives as reported in my blog yesterday.

One of the three initiatives to be eliminated is Martha’s Marketing Muddle. After only a couple of coaching sessions, it was clear that Martha was more interested in just taking about her problems than taking any action to resolve relevant issues. In retrospect, I should not have agreed to help Martha.

One reason for agreeing to help her was to generate material for a series of case study blog posts. Clearly that reason was not sound enough to serve as a foundation for a client relationship

The other two eliminated initiatives were to collaboration with another professional on the development of a marketing book and a series of marketing training workshops. His failure to respond to, or even acknowledge, two separate emails was a clear message that the relationship would likely be problematic. I have decided to pass on this seemingly good opportunity, leaving the door open for better opportunities yet to come.

I feel better already.


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