Most graphic designers will be in a similar situation at some point: the client will not pay, the client is never satisfied with your work yet won’t collaborate to fix it, or you simply realize that you and the client are not meshing. Regardless of when and why you need to fire a client, everyone knows that breaking up is hard to do. But there are graceful ways you can handle it that will help your design firm grow and keep doors open.
- Stay business-focused. Make sure the client knows that this is not personal. It’s simply not a good fit for you and your business at this point.
- Be polite. Never burn all your bridges, even if you’re certain you never want to work with a client again. You never know when you might need a reference or recommendation, or whether an employee from one client will end up working at another client.
- Be honest. Let the client know exactly what the problem is, phrasing it in business terms. The more honest you can be, the more mutually satisfying and productive the separation will be for both parties.
- Offer an alternative. Ask clients if they can see any other option or think of another solution besides terminating the current business relationship.
- Ask for feedback. This is a great tip whether your relationship with the client is coming to an end because you’ve finished the project, or whether you’ve simply decided not to work together anymore. Asking the client for honest feedback can help your business grow and improve, and help you know what future clients might be looking for.
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