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Ever sacked a client?

Discussion in 'General Domain Discussion' started by soj, Apr 13, 2012.

  1. soj

    soj Founder

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    Have you ever had one of those client's or customer's that just drive you mad?

    You know the type. Maybe they are constantly demanding; or always trying to screw you on your fee or quote. Or telling you how you could do your job better. Or threatening
    to withdraw business and do it themselves - or give it to someone else.

    They just wear you down with their antics or games.

    I have read a few articles over time where people say the best thing you can do in this instance is "sack the client". It liberates you - and let's you focus on better priorities.

    Anyone ever sacked a client?

    .
     
  2. ScottNugent

    ScottNugent Membership: VIP

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    No I have never sacked a client. I think the better way to go about it is to sit down and come up with a plan which gets the project done and keeps you both happy. You get paid, they get the project; no hard feelings or bad reputation ensues. :)
     
  3. soj

    soj Founder

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    That's a lovely, idealistic outcome Scott. Hope it always works for you.

    But you're still at school - let's have this same discussion in 10 years time. ;)
    .
     
  4. ScottNugent

    ScottNugent Membership: VIP

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    Of course, of course. I've never had this problem but I'm sure I might one day.
     
  5. Joel

    Joel Membership: Community

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    Yep, definitely. Scope creep and unrealistic expectations were the main causes.

    Firing the client in a professional manner is always advisable :)
     
  6. FirstPageResults

    FirstPageResults Membership: VIP

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    auDA Member:
    Yes
    Multiple times, usually as soon as contractual obligations have been fulfilled.

    Definitely liberating when you have one of those nightmare clients with pipedream expectations
     
  7. James

    James Membership: VIP

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    Yeah I have dealt with one or two clients in the past who you just end up letting go when the contract ends because they are not financially worth it. I mean we always work towards developing the best possible relations with clients and after you work with 100s of clients you may find 1 who turns out to be a nightmare, but that's all part of business you just have to work extra hard to keep them happy, in the end if its not worth it let them go.
     
  8. Ash

    Ash Membership: Trader

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    Definitely! Same as FPR and James have said, soon as contractual obligations are fulfilled it's sayonara! Always been professional and usually mutually agreed - haven't had any relationships go sour over it.
     
  9. Chris.C

    Chris.C Membership: VIP

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    Yeah you have got to sack bad clients, they hurt your business if you don't.

    Some people get the impression that because they are a paying customer they are holier than holy and in the end you just gently explain to them that you can't deliver the service they are looking for then you recommend a competitor you don't like in the hope they will employ their services and hurt their business rather than yours.
     
  10. DavidL

    DavidL Membership: VIP

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    auDA Member:
    Yes
    With Private Fleet, we source new cars for people. Being such a big purchase and an emotional purchase, clients can sometimes go a little crazy. Most are fine but some just become completely unreasonable - eg if the car's delayed a week due to reasons beyond anyone's control they start ranting, threaten to sue, go to Today Tonight etc etc

    On more than one occasion, with a ranting customer on the phone, I've said

    'I'm sorry sir, we seem to be getting nowhere, I'm going to have to report this matter to the Department of Fair Trading' to which they are shocked and respond with
    'No, I'm taking YOU to the Department of Fair Trading', to which I would say
    'Great, well let's both agree with what they say is fair'

    Getting a third party involved can often help diffuse things.
     
  11. bradderick

    bradderick Membership: VIP

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    I fired all of my web design, development and marketing clients around 18 months ago :)

    It was a gamble, but doing the sums, our own websites had the highest ROI on a per hour input basis by a considerable margin over the long term.
     
  12. Chris.C

    Chris.C Membership: VIP

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    I know that feeling...

    :D
     
  13. Honan

    Honan Membership: VIP

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    auDA Member:
    Yes
    More often than not
    Lost count of how many
     
  14. Designer

    Designer Membership: Community

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    Beware taking on chronic complainers and know all's. Prevention is better than cure.
     
  15. findtim

    findtim Membership: VIP

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    auDA Member:
    Yes
    i've just sacked a client, yesterday ! its probably my 3rd out of hundreds so its no big deal but it HURT, it hurt because I DID NOT pay attention to the obvious signals that lead up to it in and reflection i KNEW it was gonna happen but i bloody didn't just say NO at the start, so it was my fault totally.

    my lesson, and hopefully the last one is SET you standards, do not take the low road, let them know the expections of THEM, let them know what they will get for the price quoted and it will cost them extra otherwise.

    I've been far to easy on clients so far ( sounds weird that i should tell a client what to do, but you need to ) , now we agree on terms and dates and thats that, if they miss the mark then they pay extra........... and thats gets them active !!

    ( the last client was a "mates rates friend" and thats the last of them i do ) because you just upset the client and upset the friend !


    2 things " defined roles/expectations" and "accountability" , thes are the 2 biggest things i come across EVERY day even when its established at the start of the job.

    Here's how i try to work mostly: client gives me the brief and i give them the quote, client approves the quote, mostly it is 3rd to start , 3rd on design approval, 3rd on completion OF MY WORK....... not their imput of content or getting me the staff names for the "about us page or the office hours orrrrrrrrrrrrrr whatever, thats when my work stops and they need to pay the balance, when they give me all the info i will complete the website and make it live, ALL THE INFO.... as we agreed on a time frame.

    i have a clients website that is not online and it now 1 year old ! thats his problem not mine, i have provided my service as promised.

    SOOO, back to sacking a client, I personally think sacking a client is because there was not enough HONEST commmunication about the parameters of the job, what they get for their money, what you will do for their money etccc.

    and as i just said i am guilty of this.

    its FARRRR better to be brutal at the start then to suffer later, "unrealised expectations" is one of the main reasons for conflict and often both sides have them.

    I had a phone call today ( a referal ) , a women starting a new business and wanted a website and the first Q was " how much", i started to ask her Q about the business and she just kept saying "how much" , in the end i just said " how much does a car cost, you can buy 1 for $100 or $50,000, until i know what car you want i can't tell you how much " ?

    anyway i gave her some advice and maybe we will talk monday?

    but the moral of the story ( finally... sorry ) is:

    you set yourself up for your own failures, learn from them and STICK to those new lessons no matter what as they will continue to BITE you over and over again until you get the message.

    on each occassion i have had to sack a client i honestly feel its because i didnt communicate my expectations OF THEM to them, so the reality is... its been my fault as i was the most experienced one in the process just like a person and a lawyer, a business and an accountant.

    just my opinion!

    tim
     
  16. acheeva

    acheeva Membership: VIP

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    The best thing to do with bad clients is to parcel up their files and deliver them to your competitor.
    They think you are mad
    They get stuck with your problem clients
    The clients probably get a better service than you are willing to provide; and
    You get to work on your good clients
     
  17. soj

    soj Founder

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    Just got my daily motivational message ..............

    :)
     
  18. domainlover

    domainlover Membership: VIP

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    I just got mine too,

    TODAY IS CANCELLED GO BACK TO BED hehehe
     
  19. domainlover

    domainlover Membership: VIP

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    I would have thought the Privacy Act would not allow this to happen ?
     
  20. Ash

    Ash Membership: Trader

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    I think he means giving the client their (design) files and referring them to your competition... make it their problem.