The Best Way to End a Client Relationship
Business relationships and personal relationships tend to follow a similar trajectory. Both have a “honeymoon period”, a “steady-as-she goes” period and sometimes a stage where one side, or in certain instances both sides, decide it would be best if your relationship ends. If you are really lucky, this last stage only happens after a long and prosperous “steady-as-she goes” period. Regardless of the reasons you decide to end a business relationship with a client, or the amount of time the relationship lasted, there are four main reasons why you should conclude the relationship on a high note instead of ending it on page four of The Washington Post.
Why You Want Your Client Break-Up to End on a High Note
- The work you did together was excellent: You have done some fantastic work together, but it’s time to get another perspective on your business. Just because one party, or both parties, decide to go in another direction doesn’t devalue what you partnered together to accomplish. Instead of focusing on what’s wrong with your current relationship, think through what went well and how that can be leveraged for another organization now.
- Continued interaction with one another: Even if you and your ex-client still run in similar business circles, it will be important for both of you to end the relationship amicably. While you don’t have to be best friends with an ex-client after your time together finishes, you should still be cordial to each other. Remember your business relationship will be remembered for a long time even after the official business relationship concludes.
- The last dance may not be your last dance: Just because your business relationship concluded at some point, it doesn’t mean the relationship between your two firms is over forever. Business needs change, as do the products and services offered. At Helios, we have steady repeat business opportunities. Just because you don’t have a formal relationship, doesn’t mean either of you can’t keep in touch or continue championing each other’s community service activities. You never know when the relationship between your two firms can be rekindled.
- One door closes and another one is opened: Even if you are no longer the right fit for one another right now, you both may have other contacts that would benefit from each other’s expertise. Taking the time to mutually connect each other, to other organizations, can become a win-win for both of your companies.
Successful businesses understand that clients will come and go over time. What keeps a business successful is creating win-win scenarios for everyone they work with. Just because your business relationship is not continuing, this doesn’t mean another organization can’t benefit from your ex-client’s knowledge, skills and unique expertise.