When Do You Fire a Client?

When Do You Fire a Client?

As pianists, our clients can be anyone from parents to ballet teachers to managers to friends.

Although it’s true that there isn’t such thing as a bad client, bad client relationships are everywhere.

Browsing through The 50 (Things Every Creative Should Know), this jumped up and down at me:

“There’s no such thing as a bad client. The onus is on you to make a client relationship work, not the other way around. If it’s not working out, ‘fire’ them as a favour.”

Simple, solid advice for a great career.

Work it out, and if it doesn’t work, fire them.

This wisdom brings another golden question: when do you fire a client? (How do you deal with this?

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1 Comment

  • Renée Ritz September 30, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    I ‘fire’ a client when I feel devalued or disrespected when working with the client. I’m not a demanding person, but I find that people like to take advantage of these qualities (i.e. squeeze every ounce of whatever out of me), so I’ve learned to stand strong on my ground. It’s time to let go when I feel that there’s no more point in working with him or her.

    I teach piano, so when a student does not see things the way I do, and when we find ourselves in disagreement, I would suggest that the student would be better off with another teacher. In some cases, I might offer a recommendation with someone I know who might suit them.

    Also, I perform occasional gigs around town, and there are certain clients who really enjoy my services and tend to book me months in advance. However, sometimes disagreements arise, i.e. rescheduling, continuously late payments, etc., so I end up refusing the booking in the first place.

    Fortunately, this ‘firing’ hasn’t happened a lot, but I’ve learned lots. Mainly, it’s alright to ‘fire’ a client.