So I got broken up with this week. Dumped. I’m even a little heartbroken.
Don’t worry – my marriage isn’t in jeopardy. A client broke me up with me.
I say “broke up with me” instead of “fired me” because I’m being dumped not because of anything I’ve done. The client still loves us. They’re not going to another service provider. They’ve just had a change in circumstances.
Now, I could present a wealth of service strategies on what to do to win back a client who is firing you, but I had to pause when I thought of what to do with the client who was simply ending our relationship with a “it’s not you, it’s me”.
So here’s the approach I took and I kind of based it on how I’d like someone to treat me if they actually broke up on me:
Step 1. I took it like a champ. I let the client know how disappointed I was, but that I understood their reasons behind their decision.
Step 2. I took a step back. I reflected on their reasons and offered a creative solution to work around their current situation. While I wasn’t sure it would work (it didn’t in this case) I was sure my effort would be appreciated (it was, with the client responding with “Thanks for always trying to work out a mutually beneficial solution though - it's really impressive”).
Step 3. I didn’t make the break up unnecessarily hard or convoluted. In short, I didn’t try and create any unnecessary hurdles to the client leaving. I made the transition as easy for them as possible. Why? Because they’ve now just reverted from being a current client to… a future client.
They’re back on my prospecting list and as much as it took me 2 years to get them on board in the first place, I’ll keep working until they’re a current client again.