I’ve just lost a client – what now?

Proportion
Categories: Business

Losing a first or important client is super scary! It’s not the end of the world though.
So now it’s time to understand why and what you can do about it.

Understanding why

A good step to take is to contact the departing client and ask for feedback.  Explain that you understand they may not change their mind and that whilst it would be lovely if they did your main aim is to understand why they felt the need to leave.

Likely reasons

In our opinion, there are only a few reasons a client may decide to sack you

1 – The quality you were providing wasn’t up to scratch

2 – The speed of delivery wasn’t as expected

3 – The price was too high

What can be done about it?

You’re unlikely to change the departing client’s decision.  You may do if you are lucky, but the best bet is to take on board the feedback and honestly decide if you agree.

The first step is to consider what you like to deliver and what you actually deliver.

The above diagram is about the angle you work from.  The rule is you can only pick two from the three.

So it works like this:

Speed + Quality = you cannot compete on price

Price + Quality = you cannot compete on speed

Speed + Price = you cannot compete on quality

There is no wrong answer as long as you only try to compete on two areas.  If you try and deliver all three then cracks will start to appear and you will end up delivering nothing clients will get fed up and go elsewhere.

Once you have your chosen two areas that you will focus on you should filter your potential clients out early.  If their main objective is the area you are not interested in delivering then simply tell them you can’t help them.  It might seem scary to turn business away but telling the wrong types of clients no opens up the opportunity for when the right client comes along and you can say YES.

Losing a client can initially feel like a negative but it really doesn’t have to be.  You should treat it as an opportunity to learn and get feedback from someone who can be honest about where you have let them down and you can make the necessary improvements if you agree and it aligns with your values.

Making the choice to make a change is hard but you need to then take action.  If you need help in someone to identify the areas you need to improve and how to improve them as well as holding you to account then our Review and Planning sessions would be exactly what you are looking for.

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