Some of us must struggle with the ultimately difficult conversation of placing a client on our “do not call, do not answer” list. Here are some steps:
- Meet them in their office – go to their place so, you may leave as you wish. Meeting in a restaurant allows outside interruption and detail to creep in as wait staff, food, and privacy are not in your control. Going to their office is a small sign of respect. Certainly, presidents of client firms can close their door.
- Tell the company’s subordinates afterwards in outside settings (association meetings, athletic functions etc) These are potential alumni who will move to other firms. As people more often change jobs these days, this is a key strategy. Making sure that the middle managers have a good impression. Showing you care to speak with them can only help. As they are sure go to another company, (the statistics confirm this) having many allies at a customer is never bad.
- Let the door open if the client changes its ways – see above. As you make your way in this world, know that people do change. Allowing the client to save face when you drop them off your customer list keeps the door open. Certainly, open doors allow contractors to walk back through that door if need be. This is a good insurance policy over a person’s career.