How to Divorce a Bad Client

Kimberly

Kimberly Berger

November 18, 2019

We all have them. The toxic client. They never ever pay on time. In fact, chasing them down for the money they owe you sometimes feels like a second job. Or the client who is just never ever happy. They ask for revision after revision after revision. Or the client who is just plain rude or disrespectful to you and your team. People, life is too short to keep these types of clients in your life.

SO HOW DO YOU, ONCE AND FOR ALL, GET RID OF THEM?

The first step is to have very clear terms in your contract. The agreed upon fee includes x revisions. Anything beyond that will be charged at x with a cap of x hours. The payment schedule is x. A late fee of x will be charged for any late payment. Or you can consider taking 50% up front and then the final 50% before delivering the final product. My point is that if you make the rules very clear from the beginning, you will avoid a lot of back and forth down the road.

For those clients who are repeat offenders, the question to ask yourself is:

“Is it really worth it to keep working with this person?”

What is the ROI? I can guarantee you; it is negative. If you calculate the time you spend chasing people down, you will realize you are losing money on these customers. The client who comes to you with a rush order or a last-minute change every time? What is the value of the work you must delay for other clients in order to accommodate these requests? Is it really worth it?

Once you realize that you are actually losing money by continuing to put up with these difficult clients, it will be very easy for you to inform them that it is time for them to find another vendor. Thank them for their business. Wish them the best in the future. And then just walk away.