Why You Sometimes Have to Fire a Client—and How to Do It
“Can I really fire my client?”
Look, it might seem counterintuitive to ever want or need to let go of a client…
But trust us, sometimes it’s for the best.
Perhaps when you’re just starting, it might seem tempting to want to keep all the clients you get—especially if it’s your primary source of income.
But, it’s to your benefit to be more conscientious about selecting the clients to serve.
And today, we’re going to look at why selectivity matters and how and when to fire a client when it comes down to that.
Why Would You Ever Fire a Client?
The main reason you should fire a client is if they’re toxic.
Because your interactions tend to be much more intimate and close in, this toxicity can seep into your head and mess you up internally if you let them.
The effects of this toxicity on you can be increased frustration, increased exhaustion, and even irritability.
These, in turn, can ultimately affect how you work or even the very quality of your work as a whole.
This is not what to look for in a client, certainly, as the trade-off isn’t worth whatever amount they pay you.
So, what makes for a toxic client?
Well, they may have unrealistic expectations of what you can offer.
Listen, It’s reasonable for clients to expect a degree of quality from what you offer.
But what’s unreasonable is to expect beyond what you explain you are capable of.
Toxic clients can also be very unreliable.
You see, they might suddenly skip out on appointments but then expect that you free up time when they suddenly show up.
They also don’t follow instructions and then complain when something goes wrong.
When Should You Fire a Toxic Client?
Firing a client isn’t easy.
That’s why you should at least try to talk to them about the behaviours that make them toxic, to begin with.
But there are some clear signs that it’s time to let go.
For one, if you start to fear their appointments and aren’t excited.
For another, when you feel very drained and stressed out by them.
Lastly, when you have tried to find amicable resolutions and nothing changes, then that’s when you know it’s time to chin up and let go of them professionally.
How Do You Professionally Fire a Client?
This isn’t easy, honestly, but it can be done if you approach it professionally.
A few things you have to know are that you need to make it as impersonal and honest as possible. Never be rude.
And you also need to choose a medium comfortable for you.
If you can’t do it face to face or over the phone, an email will suffice.
Regardless of what medium you choose, follow this format to be able to come across effectively:
Reason: Start by clearly stating the specific behaviour you want to call out.
Don’t be mean and make it a personal account but be honest.
Explain very well why this is something you have to call out.
Also, if there was an attempt to mitigate this behaviour, mention that as well.
The Out: Next, offer an alternative solution or behavioural change that you would like to see in them.
At this point, you also need to be reasonable yourself.
Don’t bait them with something they can’t possibly do, as it might just escalate the situation.
Ultimatum: This is where you tell them what happens—you have to stop seeing them—if their behaviour doesn’t change.
You need to be very firm here. Courteous, respectful, professional, but firm.
Optionally, you can also make an offer to discuss these things with them in person.
But only add that if you’re very comfortable talking to them face to face about these issues.
Regardless, they might seek a confrontation when they receive a message like this.
As most would get the hint, it's rare, but it happens.
Should that happen, maintain your calm no matter what they might say or do, be confident and stick to your guns, listen as they vent, reiterate your original message and ask if they’re willing to meet your demands.
Usually, that will be enough to get them off your back.
Remember that this really is a big part of being a professional lash artist.
It can be awkward and tough, but if you follow our advice, you should come out of it just fine.