When to Walk Away from a Client: 15 Ultimate Reasons
Knowing ‘when’ to walk away from a Client is a defining moment that can:
Free up business resources, and
Propel your business forward.
This post discusses the 15 ultimate reasons to walk away from a Client:
Whether you a complete newbie in your industry, or a
And for the ‘how’ in walking away from a Client be sure to check out this post.
1. Your Client’s Project is Not a Good Fit
Ask yourself these 3 questions:
Can you meet the Client’s most basic needs?
Is what the Client’s asking for beyond your skillset?
Are you genuinely interested and feel confident about delivering this project?
Because for starters:
If you cannot meet the Client’s most basic needs, then you’re not a good fit and you should decline to help them.
If the project is beyond your skillset you should respectfully decline by ‘stating that’ and then ideally refer them to other providers who can help them.
Because most Clients will respect your honesty and value your help in ‘pointing’ them in the right direction with future help.
If the project does not interest you in the slightest then that’s a red flag.
Clients who set unrealistic goals are setting themselves up for:
Feeling like a failure according to Routine Excellence.
And even worse according to HuffPost (more here) unrealistic goals create a culture of failure as it becomes:
Similarly, Clients with high expectations that believe:
You will solve all their problems…
Can be extremely hard to work with.
Because ultimately when it comes to these Clients:
Whatever you do you may never be able to please them!
3. Your Client is Not Right to Work with Says Your Instinct
Instinct is everything.
In business many CEO’s make very difficult calls based largely on their instinct.
And in Copywriting it’s one of the 3 Golden Keys to Success in Copywriting discussed here.
So whatever it is – like differences between you and the Client in:
Always trust your instinct and if it does not ‘feel right’:
Walk away from the Client!
4. Your Client Asks You to Work for Free
An absolute deal breaker.
And if they say it:
Just walk away!
Because client’s who expect you to work for free do not ‘value’ your:
And never get caught in the trap of believing if:
You just do a ‘great’ job now then they will offer more work in the future.
It never happens!
Ultimately you are a ‘professional’ and not a ‘non-profit’ organisation.
So time is ‘money’ and if the roles were reversed would your Client:
Work for free?
I think not!
5. Your Client Promises You Future Work for Lower Rates
Run (and fast) when you hear a Client say this!
And this also goes for the scenario where:
Your Client wants to pay later in exchange for a big opportunity right now.
Because you don’t need a degree in:
To know these are tactics used by some Clients to negotiate a lower rate.
So whatever you do:
Don’t fall for this trap and walk away from this Client!
6. Your Client Really Doesn’t Have the Budget
Again, time is money.
Don’t make the false assumption that a Client with no budget now:
Will have budget in the future!
Because for every Client without the budget there will always be:
A new client in the future that does have the budget.
Besides, you have other clients to service in your business who do have the budget and it:
Makes no sense to take away ‘time’ and ‘resources’ from your loyal Clients.
No budget now = no budget in the future (the assumption you need to make).
So walk away!
7. Your Client Complains About Your Fee
If a Client is complaining about your fee now, then they:
Clearly do not see your value!
Working hard, and
Getting great results…
May be the obvious step to change this perception but Stop Right There.
Because a negative perception now about your value is a ‘red flag’ that this Client may never see:
The true value of your services!
And unfortunately, as time goes on (no matter what you do) you may find yourself:
Always having to justify your fees.
Because remember that for every Client that complains there will be a better one out there that doesn’t!
So complaints about fee = walk away!
8. Your Client is Located in a Very Different Time Zone
A big difference in time zone can be both:
Easy and challenging at the same time!
It all depends on the needs of your Client.
Because if they are requiring a dedicated service and you are in:
Sydney, and they are in
That could be a real challenge!
It could even mean you have to change your whole ‘lifestyle’ to work with them effectively.
And at the end of the day you must ask yourself:
Is it worth it?
Because again it will all depend on the needs of your Client but don’t be afraid to walk away if in doubt because remember:
For every client in another time zone there is always another one in your time zone!
9. Your Client is a Poor Communicator
So it goes without saying:
Communication with your Client is a big deal!
Whether it be them being a poor communicator generally
Whether it be them being unresponsive
Whether it be them disappearing…
Communication with your client = results achieved = happy client.
Therefore, don’t risk a continued relationship with a:
‘Consistently’ poor communicating client.
And the keyword is ‘consistently.’
Because ‘consistent’ poor communication is destined to end up in:
Miserable failure (so walk away!).
10. Your Client is Genuinely Destroying Your Quality of Life
If you have a Client that is genuinely:
On your ‘mind’ all the time (consuming your thoughts)
Getting you in a negative state (through constant dealings with them)
Making your life a misery (from the moment you wake up in the morning)…
Then (AND I CAN’T SAY THIS ANY LOUDER):
Because $$ becomes insignificant if your quality of life is poor.
We all breath, live, stop breathing and die.
And ‘living in the moment’ (while living) results in 15 powerful benefits according to Business Insider.
Always ‘live in the moment’ and if a Client is impacting on that:
11. Your Client is Taking All Your Resources
Some Clients are bound to take up more of your time than others.
But the Client’s taking up all your resources are the one’s you need to take:
Immediate action to walk away from!
Because these Clients merely distract you from:
Your other Clients / Projects (and ultimately keeping them happy).
Not to mention bringing in new Clients (which is key to growing your business).
So never get caught up in the trap of chewing up all your business resources with:
Demanding clients (that often have unrealistic expectations).
Because it will only be to the detriment of your business.
12. Your Client Does Not Treat You Right
And this includes:
Your Client talking Inappropriately or rudely towards you
Your Client being verbally abusive towards you
Your Client using pressure tactics towards you.
Because when it comes to these 3 things:
Never put up with it and walk away!
Life is short and as discussed in Ultimate Reason #10:
This will only destroy the quality of your life and no one wants that!
Besides everyone has the right to be treated ‘fairly’ regardless of whether it is a:
Personal relationship, or
So any sign that you are not being treated right just walk away!
13. Your Client Undermines Your Professional Advice
So your Client hires you in an area that they’re not an ‘expert’ in.
But then they ignore / disagree with that you recommend (even though it might be best practice).
And not only that they do this ‘consistently.’
A Client that does is clearly:
Undermining your professional advice!
Working in collaboration with your Client is business 101.
A Client who constantly questions you goes against business relationships 101.
Whatever you do (especially if it is ‘consistent’):
Do not put up with it and walk away!
14. Your Client Has You Competing with Other Vendors
Competition is great.
But when your Client has you competing with other Vendors:
It may not be worth it!
And especially if there is more than 3 vendors.
Ultimately this will be your call as a business owner (after all you know your own capabilities) but too many vendors in the mix can:
= greater time investment = wasted resources = lost time.
So when it comes to many vendors in the mix think carefully and be prepared to:
15. Your Client Consistently Pays Late
The keyword is ‘consistently.’
Because occasionally = can be excused.
But if it’s:
Month 1 (Overdue notice 1, 2 & 3)
Month 2 (Overdue notice 1, 2 & 3)
Month 3 (Overdue notice 1, 2 & 3)…
It is time to walk away!
Because ‘consistent’ late payment shows a lack of respect in:
The Value of Your Services
And ultimately delivering business value is:
The most important aspect of project management, according to PMI, and
Values are vehicles to propel a company’s success according to Forbes.
So whatever you do…
Don’t put up with ‘consistent’ late payment and walk away!
That concludes the 15 Ultimate Reasons to Walk Away from a Client and now…
Now let’s quickly wrap this blog post up!
When to Walk Away from a Client: 15 Ultimate Reasons Wrap Up
Any business will have:
That is business 101.
But ultimately ‘Business life’ (like life) is short.
And ‘business life’ (like life) is meant to be enjoyed.
So (for your own sanity) don’t be afraid to walk away if your Client falls into:
One of the 15 ultimate reasons discussed in this post, and
For ‘how’ to walk away most effectively please click here.
Over to You…
Do you agree or disagree with these 15 Ultimate Reasons to Walk Away from a Client? Or do you believe there is something missing or you would like to add?? Would love to hear from you in the comments – any feedback is greatly appreciated.
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