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I have just fired my highest paying client... ๐Ÿšซ๐Ÿšซ๐Ÿšซ

Here is the story of this strange event:


We've started working exactly two years ago with this client.


They've been paying quite alright - good margins, paying on time etc


However, during last couple of months the weirdness started:


  • Client started to be very aggressive with the team
  • She was always on the lookout of finding some tiny discrepancies with the work and trying to make it a big deal
  • Tried to poach couple of team members
  • Started consuming 50% of my daily work-time for some weird conversations justified by the "business needs more care"


As a result I've been unable to focus on my accounts which really mattered and which had great potential to grow.


I was in front of the dilema:

  1. I continue as it is coz "client is always right" and she pays money
  2. Try to resolve the situation amicably and hope that we could get things right
  3. After the attempt of second scenario wave good bye and fire the client


What I've done:

  • Tried the second scenario real hard but it did lead to no results
  • Had to make a hard decision and let the client go


P.S. though I've got a strong pipeline and team won't stay without the project, but it was still a difficult decision to make. What would you do in my place?

Did I make a right decision?
Attached poll
*Voting in this poll no longer yields commission.
๐Ÿฐ War Stories
๐Ÿ‘‘ Sales Strategy
๐Ÿ˜ค Conflict Resolution
21
swizard
Celebrated Contributor
+9
Sales Evangelist
Any others thoughts folks?ย 
swizard
Celebrated Contributor
+9
Sales Evangelist
All comments and feedback is aporeciated ๐Ÿ’ช
drendo
Politicker
+8
Enterprise Account Executive
This feels like a linkedin post
swizard
Celebrated Contributor
+9
Sales Evangelist
what'd be your take on this situation Dredno? Cheers!
drendo
Politicker
+8
Enterprise Account Executive
So as a disclaimer, I'm a software AE so wouldn't be able to fire a client, plus we have CSMs who would unfortunately feel the brunt of a situation like this instead of us (just to set the scene that I'm probably not going to be well positioned to have a good opinion on this!).

From what you've written above, it seems like you did the right thing for your organisation, and hopefully for all the orgs that client works with in the future :)
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sa
saleskick
Opinionated
+1
Sales Specialist
Seems like quite a well thought through strategy and the actions that you've taken. I'd probably go with the same approach and would not keep the poisoned apple in the basket. Good luck!ย 
swizard
Celebrated Contributor
+9
Sales Evangelist
Thanks, Saleskick! Appreciate your support!ย 
illexpenseit
Opinionated
+1
Account Manager
How'd they take it?
swizard
Celebrated Contributor
+9
Sales Evangelist
They were at start a little emotional and tried to manipulate my sales rep and I with all of their "commitments and willingness of lasting partnership" but then we've got to the common grounds that it'd be best we could offer in this situation and they took it okay.ย 
sa
saleskick
Opinionated
+1
Sales Specialist
pretty interesting scenario to see.ย 
Show 1 more replies
LordOfWar
Politicker
+6
Director
I'd try to offload them on some other AM who is struggling, at least they can maintain the account and keep revenue going so their time isn't wasted.

Sell this to the client as them being placed with a more experienced manager who can tend to their "unique and important" needs.
swizard
Celebrated Contributor
+9
Sales Evangelist
Lordofwar - it's a very valid approach, appreciate sharing! In this case the AM was not the biggest challenge tbh - but rather it was the delivery team - team of 6 experts who were working on the project. client turned their daily work life into a annoying nightmare :xD
LordOfWar
Politicker
+6
Director
Ah gotcha, I figured this was a customer admin issue, not a delivery team hogging issue.

We've been in a similar situation before, I said our management needed to recost the additional work and when we priced them based on the actual time they left us rather than us dropping them.
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Smithy
Politicker
+4
Director of Sales
I think youโ€™ve done the right thing, but I think you could have, possibly, had an ultimatum chat with them.ย 

perhaps a meeting to show what they were doing and reconfirm/implement SLAs and ways of working for that client to try and take some control back.ย 

that being said, I get these situations can be all consuming and I donโ€™t blame you for firing them.ย 
Bittersweet0326
Politicker
+5
Digital Business Associate
These can be very hard decisions. Based on the story you told, I would have dropped them too.
swizard
Celebrated Contributor
+9
Sales Evangelist
๐Ÿค
sa
saleskick
Opinionated
+1
Sales Specialist
Agree with it!ย 
swizard
Celebrated Contributor
+9
Sales Evangelist
Cheers!
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