Resigning a client – particularly one that pays on time -- is a difficult business decision. If one or more of the following conditions exists, however, resigning the client might be the best option:
- If you're spending twice as much time servicing this client than any other of similar size
- If your team regularly goes way beyond the call of duty, such as working on weekends, holidays, or late into the evenings, with no acknowledgement from the client of the extra effort
- If the client makes threats – either direct ones or via vague innuendo - to switch to a competing firm if your team doesn't meet this unreasonable service standard
A PR firm's client relationships should be nothing less than mutually beneficial and respectful. As much as clients may believe they're in control of the relationship, they can't be overly controlling and should never be allowed to hold you or your business hostage.
Occasionally, certain clients and agencies simply don't click. This occurs for multiple reasons including personality differences, operational methods, or misaligned talent. Resigning a troublesome client can be quite liberating. Doing so will improve your team's self-esteem and emotional well-being by removing negative influences, letting you spend energy on positive areas—namely, servicing your other respectful clients and winning new accounts.
Fred Bateman, CEO and founder, The Bateman Group