Gini Dietrich

How Do You Know When It’s Time to Fire a Client?

By: Gini Dietrich | January 26, 2012 | 
148

Yes, I know it’s Facebook question of the week time, but we’re trying something new this week.

You see, Social Fresh wrote last week about the best times of the week and day to blog, in order to get social shares.

Historically, Mondays and Tuesdays on Spin Sucks are our big days, but the Social Fresh research proves we might be missing something on Thursdays.

I’m curious to see if a blog post runs at 8 a.m. and the video runs at noon, if there is a difference both in traffic and social shares.

So Lisa Gerber has answered Barry Silver’s Facebook question and that will run at noon.

This morning, however, you get an intellectual discussion about when to determine it’s time to fire a client.

A Story

In late 2010, a friend called me and said he had the next big idea and was interested in working with us.

Having learned my lesson with this particular friend in the past, I refused to do any work or put anyone from my team on his business until he signed a contract and sent us a deposit.

He did.

And we got to work early last year. You see, his business was a me-too product in the daily deal space, but we were really excited about how they were building to differentiate themselves. We thought we had some great ideas for building some Groupon competition in Chicago.

And then…

In the very first meeting with our combined teams, he looked at my team and said, “Don’t screw this up or I’ll fire you.”

Whoa! Way to motivate!

My team was a little taken aback, but instead of listening to the red flags in my mind, I pushed forward and rebuilt everyone’s confidence to do some good work.

The meetings didn’t get much better. In some cases, he’d schedule meetings and not show up. In other cases, he’d have his right-hand person read us the riot act. On work that we hadn’t had enough time to complete.

This went on for the first month. We sent our second invoice.

Going into the fifth week of working with them, the Chicago Tribune wrote a story on the 40+ (!!!) daily deal sites in Chicago alone.

And our client was not included in the story.

To say I was yelled at is being nice. I’ve never had anyone, let alone a client, speak to me the way he did. I’ve never had someone use so much profanity in delivering a message. I had to tell him to call me back when he calmed down and I hung up the phone.

The funny thing? The client’s site wasn’t yet launched. Heck, it wasn’t even designed yet. So for us to have gotten them included in that story would have been nothing short of a miracle. Not to mention, we don’t typically pitch round-up stories like that for our clients, especially when there are 40 other businesses to compete with in 800 words.

I explained both points, but he didn’t care. There was no reasoning with him. Even the proposal we’d agreed on, just five weeks earlier, didn’t have a media relations component.

At that point, he and I agreed to go our separate ways and he never paid our second invoice, even though we’d done double the work he’d already paid for and, because of his 24/7 needs, I’d pulled nearly my entire team onto the account.

It hurt us fiscally. Badly. When I had our attorney send a letter, he responded by saying, “I’m not paying this invoice and, if you pursue it, I’ll have you and your business ruined. I’m very well-connected in Chicago and it won’t be hard to do.”

The Lesson

His response made me want to fight. I’m pretty sure I would have spent every penny we had fighting him. I would have let him put us out of business just to prove I was right.

I like to be right. And he treated us really poorly. I needed my team to see I was willing to fight for them.

My attorney was a bit more calm than me. We had a discussion about strategy and what it would take (both money and time) to fight to get the invoice paid. It would have ended up costing us more than double what he owed us. And he owed us a lot of money.

So I let it drop…as much as it still pains me to do so.

The moral of the lesson is you should always listen to your gut.

After that very first meeting, when I had all those red flags practically jumping out at me, I should have fired him.

It would have saved us a lot of time, a huge write-off, and my team’s morale.

Special thanks to Bourn Creative for the image.

About Gini Dietrich


Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro.

Spin Sucks in Your Inbox

Leave a Reply

148 Comments on "How Do You Know When It’s Time to Fire a Client?"

avatar

Sort by:   newest | oldest
KenMueller
4 years 3 months ago
This is a tough one for a startup when you’re starved for cash. Two years ago I took on anybody who would come my way. And perhaps I needed to do that. Since then, I’ve learned a few of the signs that will show me when something isn’t going to work out. As my business model has evolved, and my approach has evolved, I now know when someone doesn’t get it. After a first meeting, and then submitting a proposal, the conversation can turn in one of two directions. If it goes one way, we’re ok. But if it goes… Read more »
ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 3 months ago

@KenMueller I don’t think, in the long run though, you do make less money. We lost a TON of money on this client. We would have been better off not working with him at all…if I’d just listened to my gut. Sometimes we see the cash as the only ROI.

John Falchetto
4 years 3 months ago
You said it Gini, “ignoring the red flags”. We have all been there, hiring the wrong client. I used the word hire because they become a part of our success (or a major challenge). The last client I fired was a large airline. It was two years ago, we were in London on holidays and the Vp emailed requesting a meeting. I asked her what the purpose of the meeting was and she kept arguing that I had to come to the meeting to find out. At which point I picked up the phone but she stayed cryptic. I wasn’t… Read more »
ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 3 months ago

@John Falchetto And, even more, it’s not worth the loss of family time.

Ameenafalchetto
4 years 3 months ago
Great lesson! What a way to start a relationship! I fired a few clients in the past – the pain of dealing with nightmare clients can really take it’s toll on your confidence, your energy, and abilities. I’ll never forget the client who said “I am paying you so you WILL do it!” Urrr … actually dude, I can’t and this is the last time you’ll pay me for anything – this was a few months into my first business and I remember being really torn, and upset but firing that client taught me a lot about knowing what I’m… Read more »
ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 3 months ago

@Ameenafalchetto That mindset is one where they believe you work FOR them, not with them. No one is successful that way. The best relationships we have with clients is where they completely integrate us into their businesses. We’ve seen a lot of clients promoted because of the things we helped them do. They remember that kind of stuff.

HowieSPM
4 years 3 months ago

Send me his name. His address. His phone number. I am really well connected with Aliens in Chicago. I can have him turned into gutter soot in no time.

I’m being serious.

Very tough situation Gini. Much easier when you are overflowing with business than when you need business. Thanks for the great insights.

Yes gutter soot. Offer is open ended. I am a problem solver you know that.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 3 months ago

@HowieSPM I shall speak to you offline about this. :) In all seriousness, there is a part of me that STILL wants to have his legs chopped off at the knees.

faybiz
4 years 3 months ago

G- you are my hero.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 3 months ago

@faybiz LOL! For making such a big mistake?! Ah…at least I learned from it.

faybiz
4 years 3 months ago

@ginidietrich that is why you are my hero- as well as the fact that you shared it… not hard to own success…

DannyBrown
4 years 3 months ago

Always a tough call. Part of you doesn’t want to, as you feel you’ve failed the client. But then there’s the part where the client thinks they know best, or go against your advice, or screw things up themselves by their actions and blame you.

Life’s too short – spend time with those that actually want to work together as opposed to the arrogant assholes who wouldn’t know the best approach to something if it was right there in front of them.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 3 months ago

@DannyBrown Life IS too short. And you’re right…I’d much rather spend my working days with people I like. Present company excluded, of course.

DannyBrown
4 years 3 months ago

@ginidietrich Bite me.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 3 months ago

@DannyBrown Smooches!!

jasonkonopinski
4 years 3 months ago

@DannyBrown@ginidietrich That’s the Danny that I know and love. :)

DannyBrown
4 years 3 months ago

@jasonkonopinski @ginidietrich :0)

Sean McGinnis
4 years 3 months ago

But he’s still a friend, right? 😉

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 3 months ago

@Sean McGinnis Um, no.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 3 months ago

@MichaelBowers Obey your gut, really

MattLaCasse
4 years 3 months ago

Great post Gini. I place a high value on peace of mind and not dreading a meeting on my calendar. It sounds like you had neither of those things in dealing with this client. We have to remember that a client relationship is just that. A RELATIONSHIP. As such, it’s a two way street. If it turns into a one way street, like your situation, give ’em the boot.

Feel your pain on wanting to be right. I’m sure I would have had the exact same reaction. Except I probably would have been screaming profanity back at them.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 3 months ago

@MattLaCasse When it’s so new, you think, “Oh it’ll get better when we start delivering results.” But, in retrospect, if you aren’t still in the honeymoon phase in the first month, something is wrong.

EricaAllison
4 years 3 months ago
Wow. That’s awful, Gini. I’ve watched this sort of thing happen with my parents over the years; knowing when to fight and when to walk away is always a tough call. I’ve had to do it as well (likely not on the scale you mention here) and it sucks. Plain and simple. Working in real estate development (both my parents’ business and mine when I first started), I’ve had lots of those kinds of ego-driven douche canoes that wanted the moon, wanted to pay only if they liked the results and were really just all around a-holes. I now know… Read more »
ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 3 months ago

@EricaAllison We’re also in a business of “what’s next?” I remember several years ago we got the front page of the WSJ (THE FRONT PAGE) and the client said, “When will we have the cover of the NY Times?” That was the beginning of the end. It also made me reevaluate the presence of media relations in what we offer clients. We rarely do it anymore.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 3 months ago

@MattLaCasse I think we can stop censoring you now

MattLaCasse
MattLaCasse
4 years 3 months ago

@ginidietrich Good call

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 3 months ago

@bdorman264 LOL! No!

danperezfilms
4 years 3 months ago

When their unreasonable demands start interfering with your ability to serve other clients, then it’s time. You’d be surprised how a client might just shape up when you tell them that perhaps they should find another company to service their needs. Used to happen to us a lot when I worked as a sales manager for an upscale catering company in NYC.

There’s more to a successful business than the $$$ of one client…

I have spoken.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 3 months ago

@danperezfilms Thank you for speaking.

CarmenKrushas
CarmenKrushas
4 years 3 months ago

Very sad. And I remember this company. Sometimes I like to think that are our worst customers are our best customers, but this clearly is not the case in this situation. This was a bully, who should not be in business. Im really sorry, Gini.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 3 months ago

@CarmenKrushas Yes! You went through this with me so you very well know who it is. Terrible.

sydcon_mktg
4 years 3 months ago
Sadly, we have had to fire more than one client. For similar reasons. We have learned over the years to spot them in the consult stages and avoid it altogether. But we did have a spell of about 1.5-2 years were I think we took 3 clients to small claims court and had our lawyer and/or collection agencies get on others. Let me tell you, the process is NO FUN, and EXPENSIVE! For us, it was a matter of Dave digging his heels in and being insistant to persue it! We always had our ducks in a row and won.… Read more »
ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 3 months ago

@sydcon_mktg That’s so funny about your father-in-law! It’s definitely a different era, isn’t it? We’re accustomed to switching jobs. Our parents stayed in jobs for their entire working lives.

DoTime_WX
DoTime_WX
4 years 3 months ago

@ginidietrich When it becomes a one way relationship Gini. re “… Fire a Client?”

martinwaxman
4 years 3 months ago
For those of us who are entrepreneurs AND in the service industry, we are optimistic by nature. We want to do great work and ensure things work out! And we’re all for the old college try – in other words, we go out of our way to make something a success. I think the same is true when we hire someone for our team. I had a similar situation with an abusive client who cost me several good members of my team. You make a great point @ginidietrich about listening to your gut – early and not avoiding the warning… Read more »
ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 3 months ago

@martinwaxman If a client is making your team quit, the client HAS to go. You and I are a lot alike in this…we both want to please and be well-liked. But sometimes being well-liked means sacrificing the jerks.

martinwaxman
4 years 3 months ago

@ginidietrich We are! It’s tough to please everyone. But if you understand your priorities, than it’s easier to make the difficult decisions.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 3 months ago

@janetlyon ALWAYS appreciate the good ones!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 3 months ago

@sydcon_mktg It’s not fun. Ever. :(

sydcon_mktg
sydcon_mktg
4 years 3 months ago

@ginidietrich You are right! It is never, ever fun! Can’t we all just play nice? Sorry you had to go thru it!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 3 months ago

@sydcon_mktg Ah. It wasn’t the first…nor will it be the last.

sydcon_mktg
sydcon_mktg
4 years 3 months ago

@ginidietrich Thats the sad thing about it. The 1st experience is awful, but knowing, it will happen again. Its not for the squeamish!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 3 months ago

@dannystarr That’s actually a really good rule of thumb

dannystarr
dannystarr
4 years 3 months ago

@ginidietrich thanks.. it’s also what I felt you were saying between the lines

StarrMcCaffery
StarrMcCaffery
4 years 3 months ago

Yikes. I really don’t like to work for friends…too muddy. Though this person sounds like a friend you needed to lose!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 3 months ago

@StarrMcCaffery He wasn’t a close or good friend. He was really more an acquaintance. And clearly no longer!

NickKalm
NickKalm
4 years 3 months ago

Great post, Gini. This guy sounds like a real piece of work! Sorry you had to deal with such a turkey and got left holding the financial bag. Now that we’re on the subject, though, being able to fire a client is one of the many, many things that’s great about owning a boutique firm. No “checking with New York” or other such nonsense. At my firm, we’ve done it twice — both times because the key client contact was abusive to my team (and was creating a retention issue for me).

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 3 months ago

@NickKalm Ha! We both come from big agencies where, if the client is making you crazy, you just have to deal. It is a bit liberating, isn’t it, to tell them where to stick it?

NickKalm
NickKalm
4 years 3 months ago
@ginidietrich Absolutely! On the other hand, I also did this early in my career at Edelman (for a completely different reason). A client clearly wanted to do something I considered illegal to a group of employees at one of its plants who had the nerve to unionize. I promptly (and…gulp…without checking with anyone) resigned the account. I quickly got a call from Richard Edelman asking me what happened. When I explained (saying my personal reputation and presumably his were too important to work for a client that wanted us to be complicit in such work), to his significant credit, he… Read more »
ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 3 months ago

@NickKalm Wow. It’s great that Richard stuck behind you. It’s a crazy business we’re in, isn’t it? Am I going to see you in New Orleans in May?

StarrMcCaffery
StarrMcCaffery
4 years 3 months ago

@NickKalm

Oh Nick I know we can name a few from our days together @ Edelman. Hope all is well with RP!

MimiMeredith
4 years 3 months ago
Back in the long ago when I started my first business, I had a similarly abusive client. But he did pay his bills. And (remember, this was long ago…I had a Mac II CX!) he ordered top of the line materials–embossing, multi color printing jobs, etc–so it was a lucrative account. My business banker asked me what it was like working with the client, who was notorious for being overbearing and difficult. I told him it was exhausting and demeaning. And that kind banker said, “Mimi, you have to know what your clients truly cost you. You have to know… Read more »
ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 3 months ago

@MimiMeredith You are such a fountain of wisdom, my dear friend. It sounds like that banker was very kind…and right.

Hajra
4 years 3 months ago
You know, as interesting as this post is.. I am really not in the position to fire people… no yayyy for me But there are loads of people I would like to kick out… no yayy for me again.. When I was working as an intern psychologist; my supervisor got a call from her friend who wanted her to counsel her nephew who was suffering from severe depression. Now, as shrinks, our primarily rule remains that we will not take in patients we know; that sort of destroys the whole purpose of counseling and brings a lot of subjectivity into… Read more »
ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 3 months ago

@Hajra Wow. What a story. That is just awful…I can’t imagine being sued for someone attempting suicide. There definitely are worse things in life than a crappy client.

TheJackB
4 years 3 months ago

I have been down that road and was told by my attorney that I would win but that he guessed it would take two years to do so. I decided that I didn’t want to give them free rent in my head so I didn’t pursue that option.

However that particular client lost a lot of their sales that year to a rival company which proved to me that sometimes karma works.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 3 months ago

@TheJackB Karma totally works. This particular company still hasn’t launched. We take great pride in that fact. And you know what? I like what you say about giving them free rent in your head. That’s so true. It’s not worth it.

belllindsay
belllindsay
4 years 3 months ago

@TheJackB@ginidietrich Saw this one the other day – loved it – “Karma’s only a bitch if *you* are!” 😉

MikeSchaffer
MikeSchaffer
4 years 3 months ago
Sounds like you made the right call, @ginidietrich . Several years ago, I had been leading PR and marketing with a non-profit account for three years. I knew times had been tough, but I was assured they were doing right by their 501(c)3. The night before their biggest annual fundraiser, a top reporter from a newspaper that rhymes with Cushington Toast called me to tell me about the story she was running on the organization. You see, she had participated in many of their fundraisers as a celebrity over the years and was curious about how much money they had… Read more »
jasonkonopinski
4 years 3 months ago

@MikeSchaffer@ginidietrich Jeepers. O_o.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 3 months ago

@MikeSchaffer OMG. O. M.G. I don’t understand some people. WHY would you work this way? It’s complete dishonesty. Wow. Good for you for a) finishing the event and b) standing by your values.

belllindsay
belllindsay
4 years 3 months ago

@MikeSchaffer@ginidietrich Oh dear.

TheRedDogInn
TheRedDogInn
4 years 3 months ago

@ginidietrich hear! Hear! We had to fire a few clients in my agency days — some expected us to be their personal genies.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 3 months ago

@TheRedDogInn And personal assistants

TheRedDogInn
TheRedDogInn
4 years 3 months ago

@ginidietrich like getting called at 4 am to get a car for a client who didn’t make arrangements at the airport. Doh!!!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 3 months ago

@TheRedDogInn OMG! Yeah. That’s definitely your problem

JodiEchakowitz
JodiEchakowitz
4 years 3 months ago
I’ve had to deal with some “prize” clients since starting my business 10+ years ago but I’m extremely thankful that I’ve never had to go through what you went through. Your story is a great reminder that we should let our instincts guide us. And if we feel a knot in our stomach when it’s time to speak with or meet a client, warning bells should be going off, reminding us that it’s time to part ways. As always, thank you for being so open and honest in your blog posts. In sharing your thoughts so openly, you help all… Read more »
ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 3 months ago

@JodiEchakowitz Thanks Jodi! It’s funny – writing this still made me angry. So I guess I’m not really over it yet.

trisha7
trisha7
4 years 3 months ago
This is a great post and clearing of bad vibes for you I would imagine! I am in real estate and have fired people as my clients because of various rudeness and unethical behaviour on their part. People think they are just interviewing us a potential Realtor(R) / employee but, I interview my potential clients as well. If they don’t fit my ethics or in my gut seem as though they will be a constant pain in the ass I do not want to work with them. In business we must stand by our values and work in such a… Read more »
ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 3 months ago

@trisha7 You’re so right…it’s all about our ethics and morals and values. And really, are you going to find the very best house for someone if you don’t like them?

trisha7
trisha7
4 years 3 months ago

@ginidietrich Good point ! No, how can we work in their best interests if they are not being honest with us?

felixvelarde
felixvelarde
4 years 3 months ago

@ginidietrich we’ve done it a couple of times. The morale boost in the team lasts months, and usually massively outweighs the revenue hit.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 3 months ago

@felixvelarde Totally agree!

perricollins
perricollins
4 years 3 months ago

@ginidietrich OMG, I feel ya. Had my first experience firing a client last year and was not good either. :-( http://t.co/knWoSOqY

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 3 months ago

@perricollins It’s not fun. :(

anandp29
anandp29
4 years 3 months ago

@ginidietrich Yikes, sounds like a horrible experience

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 3 months ago

@anandp29 I thought I was over it. I’m not.

anandp29
anandp29
4 years 3 months ago

@ginidietrich Understandable. I guess life is always about learning lessons…

belllindsay
belllindsay
4 years 3 months ago
Sounds like a horrible situation. It *never* ceases to amaze me how brutally ignorant people can be to other people. But your lawyer was right. The gut wins. Every. Single. Time. I had a similar’esque sitch myself, where I know I would have won. And oh. It pains me still that I had to walk away (I’m a “But it’s the principal of the thing!” kinda gal! LOL) yet taking the high road and walking away clean was was the right thing to do big-picture. Just like for you. Props for taking the high road. Amazing that this person was… Read more »
ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 3 months ago

@belllindsay Well, I do if they don’t friend me on Facebook. But that’s another story.

belllindsay
belllindsay
4 years 3 months ago

@ginidietrich HAHAHAHAHA!!! Ok. STOP it!! I’m afraid the next Facebook Question of The Week is going to be “Is Lindsay Bell a Good FB Friend…?” 😀 *kisses*

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 3 months ago

@belllindsay THAT is a great idea!!

belllindsay
belllindsay
4 years 3 months ago

@ginidietrich “The Politics Of Facebook Friending” – LMAO!!!

_SKG
_SKG
4 years 3 months ago

I’m terribly sorry to hear about this debacle. The good news is you will recover the lost business, and emerge brighter, informed, and more resilient than ever before. Keep up the great job Arment Dietrich!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 3 months ago

@_SKG Thanks! While it was more than a year ago, it’s still pretty raw and painful.

Jensenborger6
Jensenborger6
4 years 3 months ago

@ginidietrich Holy cow, this makes the hard cases I’ve worked with look like saints.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 3 months ago

@Jensenborger6 Ha! It was pretty bad. I still get riled up about it.

CreativeCopyKC
CreativeCopyKC
4 years 3 months ago

@ginidietrich Great post on firing a client. Thanks for sharing your hard-learned experience.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 3 months ago

@CreativeCopyKC Thanks!

hackmanj
4 years 3 months ago

I think a lot of people don’t realize the sacrifices and challenges business owners face. You address several of them here, it’s like reading some of my own history. Really enjoyed reading this, we’ll have to trade stories more in the future!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 3 months ago

@hackmanj I was thinking about it after our conversation yesterday afternoon. We need to trade stories more often!

fitzternet
4 years 3 months ago

Gotta love the Type A wannabes. Leadership through fear isn’t leadership at all.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 3 months ago

@fitzternet No. That isn’t leadership at all.

fitzternet
4 years 3 months ago

@ginidietrich More like Type A-hole. Amirite?

Sorry. I’m 12 years old.

Lisa Gerber
4 years 3 months ago

@fitzternet@ginidietrich OMG! You should have seen the way he treated HIS team. In front of US! I was appalled.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 3 months ago

@Lisa Gerber@fitzternet It WAS really bad. And, because the relationship was only a couple of weeks old, we could really commiserate together.

SFMichele57
SFMichele57
4 years 3 months ago
Wow! Brings back (not happy) memories: I experienced a similar, “highly motivational” welcome from a new employer on my first day during the “here’s the file cabinet, this is the front door key” orientation. And, as this was during our still-ongoing Great Recession and I was so glad to have a job, I optimistically forged onward. Never again. When they come right out at the outset and definitely tell you — as they did in your case and in mine — in a few words or with a speech that they don’t *really* want to work **with** you, you must… Read more »
ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 3 months ago

@SFMichele57 Was it our client?? LOL! Man! Doesn’t it make you angry that you didn’t pack up and leave? I guess we think, “Ah surely that was a joke. I mean, it’s my first day.” I’m really sorry that happened to you. Some people really suck.

wagnerwrites
wagnerwrites
4 years 3 months ago

I was also reminded of the fact that sooner or later in the PR business, the contacts you depend on in the media and elsewhere will come to know that you are working with a complete A-hole. That hurts the brand. Thanks for the very timely moral lesson!

belllindsay
belllindsay
4 years 3 months ago

@wagnerwrites Great point.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 3 months ago

@wagnerwrites You know what? That is a GREAT point!

SocialMediaDDS
4 years 3 months ago

@wagnerwrites I like that viewpoint. Sometimes, no matter what business we are in, we get so focused on the narrow picture that we forget to see how our choices will impact the bigger picture…how others will see us based on our choices and how that does, indeed, affect the perception of the brand as a whole. Excellent to remember for all of us!! @ginidietrich @Lisa Gerber @belllindsay

ensino
ensino
4 years 3 months ago

@ginidietrich great, yet sad story. I have always followed my gut = success.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 3 months ago

@ensino I wish I could say the same

Karl Sly
4 years 3 months ago

This post reminds me of kind hearted client I’m currently working with now, but I have to say your client sounds a bit more friendlier then mine. People like this deserve success in seeing their energy magnified and returned to their own business.Consider your time spent an investment, you’ll never hear from him again. That’s probably worth a lot more then what he owes you.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 3 months ago

@Karl Sly Aren’t these kind-hearted clients awesome?!?

belllindsay
belllindsay
4 years 3 months ago

@Karl Sly And every client is now saying to themselves “Er…..?” – LOL :)

Lisa Gerber
4 years 3 months ago

I remember the elevator ride down after that first meeting. We both looked at each other: “Don’t screw this up!”

Oh, OK. Because we were totally going to, so thanks for being clear.

That was the moment right there – and we’ve used that as a lesson more than once; to follow instinct. You finally blogged about it. :)

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 3 months ago

@Lisa Gerber I loved how you kept saying, “Man! I wish I’d said, ‘Yeah. Because that’s how we start client relationships…by screwing up!'” HAHAHAHA!

belllindsay
belllindsay
4 years 3 months ago

@ginidietrich@Lisa Gerber Had I been there (with my big, inappropriate mouth) I probably *would* have! LMAO!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 3 months ago

@belllindsay@Lisa Gerber Now THAT I’m pretty sure we both would have paid to see!

DannyBrown
4 years 3 months ago

@ginidietrich@belllindsay@Lisa Gerber Oh my! This alert came through on my phone and I thought you said “PEED to see!”!!! :)

belllindsay
belllindsay
4 years 3 months ago

@DannyBrown@ginidietrich@Lisa Gerber That too! LOL

Shelley Pringle
4 years 3 months ago
Boy, can I relate to your story. My gut told me something was wrong when a client balked at signing a contract. They then insisted on including a quote from a well known rock star in a news release, even though we didn’t have his permission–talk about unethical! It got worse when they wouldn’t pay their bills and then threatened to counter sue ME if I pursued any legal action. Fortunately I was able to take them to small claims court (not very expensive) and get at least part of the money they owed me. In hindsight I should have… Read more »
ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 3 months ago

@Shelley Pringle LMAO!!! That is hilarious!!

TomMartin
TomMartin
4 years 3 months ago

Gini

Great reminder — every time I’ve ignored that little voice I’ve regretted it in some way. Funny how out Spidey Sense is so well trained eh?

@TomMartin

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 3 months ago

@TomMartin It is funny, isn’t it? I had a business advisor who used to say, “Don’t just trust your gut, obey it.”

KyEkinci
KyEkinci
4 years 3 months ago

@ginidietrich ..one knows, I’ve done that twice this year.

SociallyGenius
4 years 3 months ago

Firing Clients is necessary sometimes – especially when you value your time and are in high demand. Not everyone is in the position to be picky, but it’s certainly ideal when you can choose who you work with. Very good topic and story – I’m sure you won’t hesitate to Trump the next jackass that raises your flags!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 3 months ago

@SociallyGenius We’ll see if I learned my lesson or not. I hope so!

Nikki Little
4 years 3 months ago
I had one of those “should have listened to my gut” moments during my first internship at a PR agency, and I will NEVER not pay attention to red flags again. It was a horrible and demoralizing experience, and I’m kind of surprised I pursued a PR career after the hell the agency owner put me and the other interns through. But, I learned a lot of lessons from it and am now a better/stronger person. But yes…never ignore the red flags. Thanks for sharing this story. Hopefully it pops into someone’s head the next time they’re in a red… Read more »
ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 3 months ago

@Nikki_Little Wow. It wasn’t a client…it was the boss?

Nikki Little
4 years 3 months ago

@ginidietrich Yup, it was the boss. I haven’t had any atrocious client experiences (yet).

Nic_Cartwright
4 years 3 months ago

Woaw… some friend…!!

How is this mate’s company doing now??? The laws of Karma dictate that they were bought out by a larger/more honorable company than them (Enron?) before being stitched up on the sale price (“Dollars?? No we said – 1 million Lira”). Cue expensive legal battle resulting in loss of personal wealth and a life scouring the multitude of Chicago Discount offers for a cut price lawyer…

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 3 months ago

@Nic_Cartwright I’d be lying if I said we don’t look to see if they’re doing business yet (they’re not). Karma, as they say, comes around.

trackback

[…] When It’s Time to Fire the Client by @ginidietrich via @spinsucks: […]

wpDiscuz
[postmatic_subscribe_widget]