For a while, I’ve been talking about how to not only how to improve yourself as a person – and your brand in the process. It’s all in hopes of ensuring that your brand reaches that next level, yet it doesn’t mean that you’re exempt from feeling the lows of being an entrepreneur – far from it. That includes one of the lowest lows you will ever experience in your career, too: losing a client. It’s a subject nobody wants to talk about, but that doesn’t mean we should shy away from it.
This week, we’re going to talk about it. It’s going to happen to you, and when it does you need to be prepared. Don’t be afraid, though. Below are the most important steps you need to take when you lose a client to not only prepare you for what lies ahead, but to ensure that you don’t lose another client for the same reason ever again.
Keep your cool
Want to know the biggest problem entrepreneurs have when they lose a client? It’s not hard to guess, but I’ll fill you in anyway: controlling one’s emotions. Whether you’ve seen the loss of this client coming for months (and if you have, you should have been doing everything you can to keep the client) or it’s a surprise (albeit a terrible surprise), keep your emotions in-check.
Perhaps you’re feeling a sense of despair because they were a major client, anger, hatred, or a mixture of the three along with other emotions; that’s fine and perfectly normal. Losing a client isn’t something you just sweep under the rug and take lightly – it hurts. That doesn’t mean you should take it out on other people though – including the former client. Take a few minutes (or hours if needed) to compose yourself, then get to the bottom of the problem.
I must stress again: keep your emotions in-check. Remember, if you feel like griping at someone or ‘telling someone off,’ if it isn’t going to make you money, don’t do it. ‘Tis best to salvage some sort of relationship rather than burning a bridge just because it’s going to make you feel better for about five minutes – that’s just ignorant.
Speak directly with the former client
After your emotions are balanced and you are ready to find some answers, speak to the client directly. Call them or even meet with them in-person if possible, and just be polite. Ask them why they left, if there is anything else that you can do, or if there is anything your brand can change in order to keep them around. A lot of times, you can avoid losing a client merely by just reaching out to them. If that happens, fantastic! If they still want to lose, at least you’ve heard the reasoning from them directly.
Then speak with your team, assess what happened
Whether you discover that your client is leaving or will be sticking around after your conversation with them, call an emergency team meeting and speak with everyone. Tell them what happened, assure them that you’re not angry at anyone (even if that isn’t the case), and ask them a simple question:
“Why did this happen?”
Look, everyone is expecting you to gripe about what happened, whether directly at them or in a passive-aggressive manner. Everyone wants to get the meeting over with as quickly as possible to avoid avoid any blame being put on anyone, but by asking them directly why this happened, you will transform the vibe of the meeting. Your employees will realize that you are reaching out to them for help, and in that moment many of them will begin to open up and start to share their ideas and theories with you. From there, some real solutions and answers can be applied to the situation.
Isolated or a larger problem?
The information that you acquire out of the meeting should be used for the next step: to ultimately decide if losing the client was an isolated incident (something that couldn’t be avoided or predicted) or if it’s part of a bigger problem your brand is facing. Whatever the case may be, solve the problem to minimize the odds of this happening anytime soon.
What can you do to learn from your mistake(s)?
You should also use this incident as a way to assess yourself as an entrepreneur. After going through this process and learning about why you lost (or nearly lost) a client, do some soul searching. What mistakes have you made in the past that brought this unfortunate situation, and what can you do to ensure those mistakes won’t happen again. Only you have the answers, so do some serious self-contemplation and find them – ultimately, this will ensure that your brand is even stronger than before.
We understand the feelings that occur when you lose a client. We often have to get over our feelings of insecurity and the lack of confidence that comes with it. We created an eBook for situations much like these. Now this FREE eBook can be yours! We want you to know that your confidence doesn’t have to leave just because a client did. Click on the photo below and fill out the form to get your FREE eBook. Your confidence will be back better than ever after reading it.