You are going to lose clients. It’s just a fact of doing business. No one like to lose a client but it helps to keep these few things in mind when you do so.
You may lose clients for the following reasons:
- You suck. Truly. And that’s why they’re leaving.
- You’re too good. You’ve done such a good job that events take place that causes you to lose them. Explained below.
- It literally has nothing to do with you.
But whatever the reason is that you are losing the client, make sure you do just one thing: Don’t be a jerk about it!
We Had The Worst Quarter Of Business In Our History
Client’s leaving has probably given me the most anxiety out of everything in business over the years. I would always worry and stew over all the reasons why they wanted to leave. But trying to figure out why they’re leaving is sometimes mind-numbing and counter-productive.
Being honest with yourself is the best way to learn from the situation. If you know you weren’t doing a good job, then admit it and get better. If you know you were doing a good job, then let it go and know that you did your best.
Sometimes a client leaves you for reasons that are outside of your control. Literally nothing you could have done.
Our first quarter of this year was the worst quarter in the history of our business. We had our 3 largest clients leave us within about 1 month of each other and it had nothing to do with the work that we were doing. In fact, one of the clients left us because we helped them grow so fast that they were able to sell their company for deca-millions of dollars. The acquiring company was the largest company in its industry and had its own internal marketing department.
Guess who got chopped? Yep. Us.
One of the other clients also got acquired and then the other client lost their largest client, which trickled down to us in order to cut costs. It was an operational issue on their end which we had no control over.
Regardless of the reason… it’s always hard. “If only we could have…”
How To Deal With A Client Who Leaves You
Rejection sucks. In all aspects of life. It especially sucks if it’s going to impact your family and your employees. But it’s something that all of us have dealt with and will continue to deal with.
Maybe you didn’t do a good job for the client and that’s why they’re leaving.
Or maybe, the client just perceives that you’re not doing a good job because you didn’t communicate well about the job you were doing.
Either way, it’s not going to help anyone for you to make a big stink about the fact that they’re leaving now.
We see this all the time when new clients are leaving their current provider and coming to us. They start getting all weird, holding websites hostage, making the transition horrible for the client.
There’s No Good That Can Come From Burning A Bridge
One thing you will never find us doing is becoming a jerk to a client that leaves us. We can’t think of any good that can or will come out of making our clients or ex-clients lives miserable.
If the client has a perception that you aren’t doing a good enough job, then don’t confirm their suspicions by turning into a monster. In fact, do the opposite. Find out what went wrong. Find out what their perception of your company is. And try to identify why it happened so that you can get better for your other clients.
You may even win a client or two back.
Play The Long Game and Don’t Be Small Minded
A few years back, we had our largest client at the time leave us because they wanted to “find a bigger agency” in LA.
It really hurt us. We thought we were doing a good job. But we never acted like jerks about it. We looked inward and determined what went wrong. We went the extra mile when they needed help with things even though they weren’t a client of ours anymore. We didn’t just “cut them off” or try to hurt their business in any way. We just kept moving forward.
Well, about a year later, that client came back to us. They told us about how they went to this agency in LA with high hopes and paid them 3X what they were paying us, their online presence started tanking, and worst of all, they couldn’t stand working with them.
So when they came back, we welcomed them with open arms. No hard feelings. Just gratitude that we were able to learn and fix the issues that caused them to leave us in the first place. Had we been jerks in the least bit, we wouldn’t have gotten this treasured client back.
A simple concept, but so often overlooked by many internet marketing agencies and other service providers.