All good things must come to an end, and parting can be such sweet sorrow. However you put it, when working with experts and external agencies, whether the experience was great or terrible, nothing lasts forever. In this episode of Leverage Your Spark, you’ll hear two stories of parting ways with clients.
Listen to Season 2: Episode 23
Why does the end always seem like a weird struggle? I think it is partially because it brings up all the feelings. Whether it was fantastic or not, there can be sadness, disappointment, frustration, and anxiety about saying goodbye.
It can get even more awkward if no one has a plan and you, as a client, aren’t sure what to ask for or how to go about closing things out. We all need a little guidance. After all, even movie theaters have exit signs.
Sharing stories and examples helps to paint a picture we can then put ourselves in. It can be difficult to figure out all this parting ways stuff from scratch. Telling you how we did it and what happened with our clients gives you a starting point to determine how you want to handle this for yourself.
Case Story 1: A Story of Growing Apart
It’s a fact that every human and every business are continuously changing. We had a dear client who had been with us for almost as long as we had been a business. As the years passed, we helped them with various projects and ongoing marketing.
During our time together, we as an agency had become more adept at our craft and focused on building and growing businesses. Meanwhile, the focus of the client had shifted to maintaining and at a certain point turning into more of a hobby. It eventually became clear we were no longer in alignment. What we offered they didn’t need. What they needed we didn’t want to offer.
We discussed what outcomes they wanted and then reached out to our network to find another provider that might be a good fit. They selected a provider, and we made a handoff plan with the new vendor phasing us out and phasing them in.
It was difficult and a bit sad parting ways with such a long-standing client but trying to continue wasn’t the right call for either of us.
Case Story 2: That’s Not Our Jam
We started off with a client and did the marketing strategy, got marketing foundations set up, and put assets in place. But then the ongoing marketing that was needed wasn’t really our forte. We addressed this with the client and, while we both enjoyed working with each other, agreed that they would be better served with another expert. They found another expert to hire, and we packaged up all the assets and information into a User Guide. We had a brief meeting with the next expert to do the handoff. There were a couple additional questions, but it ended up being an easy transition for the client.
The Benefits of Parting Ways
No business is all things to all clients, and even when the relationship has been great, there may come a time that a change is needed. Having the courage to speak up and discuss changes in direction or needs that are not aligned gives us the opportunity to make a change before the relationship deteriorates or anyone gets disappointed.
Next Time: Use Technology to Help with Endings
Technology can’t manage relationships for us, but it definitely can make transitions easier. Join me in the next episode of Leverage Your Spark when we talk about the tools you can use to make breakups easier.
Wondering how to put this information into action? I’d love to answer your questions about using experts, websites, smart business, and technology. I host a monthly roundtable conversation where you can personally connect with me for answers. All you have to do is show up! Get the next one on your calendar now.