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Business Woes – When To Let a Client Go

2 Jun

I’m on a pretty large learning curve these days – I’m only three months away from opening my new private practice, and I’m trying to absorb everything I can about running a business. And, one of the most important things I can learn is when to let a client go.

After all, counseling is a subjective business. Sometimes you just don’t “click” with a client. Or the client is overly combattive or non-compliant. Sometimes, the client just doesn’t like you.

So, it’s important for me to learn when to say good-bye to a client for whatever reason. And, I found a really great article by Gini Graham Scott, published in The Huffington Post.

Source: woodleywonderworks

Source: woodleywonderworks

Here’s what advice she had for those of us who will likely encounter clients with whom it’s impossible to work:

1. Don’t let the experience discourage you. Not all clients will be a good fit with you.

2. Don’t let this single experience cause you to hold back with other clients when you see they are making a mistake because of bad information. Continue to offer the best advice you can to other clients.

3. Do further research on the issues your client or prospective client has raised, so you are fully informed should the subject come up again.

4. When a client seeks to cut off communication because they refuse to listen to your good advice, your first reaction may be to want to call or email the person to explain or smooth over the situation. However, it’s generally better not to respond under these circumstances. Instead, provide time for the person’s anger to calm down – and in time, he or she is likely to find that your advice was good and he or she made a mistake in using incorrect information.

5. Think of what you might learn from the experience for the future.

6. If you still feel bad about what happened and the frayed relationship that resulted, do something to stop thinking about the situation and let it go. For example, participate in a fun activity, talk to some friends on the phone. And focus on the future, not what happened in the past.

No doubt, I’ll have to heed this advice at some point in my career. So, I’m all ears!

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