How Do You Decide To Fire A Client?

Time to fire a client?

Time to fire a client?

Kate, our sensitive sales expert took one look at me and said, ”who rained on your parade?”

I said, “Is it that obvious?”

At that point the entire table erupted with comments ranging from “Totally transparent” to “Like smellin” your way to the ribs dinner.”

I admitted that I was indeed down in the dumps because I was trying to decide whether or not to fire a client.

Gail asked, “Are they paying their bills?”

“Not really,” I said, “you see it’s a pro bono account.”

Bubba, our Dixieland brand expert asked, “So how did y’all get crosswise with each other?”

“It started when they decided that a new name was necessary,” I replied. “Every time I tried to get them to follow a proven process to get to a name they went kiting off in directions that were at best ill-informed. I nearly quit when I literally had to bite my tongue at one point.”

Rick said, “Let me guess, they simply wouldn’t listen to you. We run into that all the time in the direct marketing business. We get hired because they say they need and want our expertise then when we strongly recommend something that scares them even though we have precedent they want us to change it.”

“And when you say no they won’t listen to why,” continued Chris the Digital Marketing Director.

“Are you guys Psychic? I asked.

Kate said, “Yes we are in a way. I’ll bet that you were trying to get something resolved at reasonable speed and the continuous changes and multiple different requests just built up until you told them off.”

“Yeah,” I said. “It’s only the second time in my life I’ve been this angry. The first time cost me about $150,000 and a marriage. This time I’m out several hundred dollars and a bundle of time but that is not the major problem.

Bubba asked, “So what’s the problem? You’re supposed to be a pro. Just ‘cause the cat worried th’ yarn to a frazzle ain’t no reason to up and quit.”

“Rob, usually I’d agree with you but they are adding insult to injury. In my view every consultant is known by the work they do for their clients and this is one that is committing graphic offenses I just cannot be a part of. I can’t let people think I had anything to do with any part of this organization. I wish them all the luck in the world and I hope there are a lot of contributors out there with little or no graphic taste but I have standards.

The Takeaway

Good clients hire experts and then listen to them. Good clients base decisions on recommendations, measured precedent and the proven ability of the consultant to accomplish preset objectives.

Jerry Fletcher’s recaps his conversations with clients, prospects and a group of business development professionals. They discuss what’s new, what’s old, what’s good, bad and ugly plus creative thinking to find what works. Jerry Fletcher is the fiction’s ringleader and secretary.


Jerry has been researching and implementing small business marketing that builds businesses, careers and lives of joy for 20 years as President of Z-axis Marketing, Inc. Learn more at

Schedule a personal appearance. Jerry speaks internationally on Networking, Marketing and Contact Relationship Magic.




Leave a Reply