We’ve all lost clients. Sometimes it’s our fault. Sometimes it’s theirs. Sometimes it’s out of everyone’s control. And…it doesn’t usually feel good.
But no matter the reason, there is always something to be learned from a lost client. I’ve got a few tips to share with you to keep your mindset in check after losing a client along with some practical steps you can take to make this a learning experience that helps you become a better entrepreneur.
1. Send An Exit Survey or Complete an Exit Interview
This is typically done when you leave a job, an exit interview is also a great way to review what went right—and what went wrong—during your coaching relationship. You’ll want to review:
- The progress your client made
- What specific advice or tools did not work for her
- Any personality conflicts
- Why she’s moving on
This is not the time to get defensive. Be open to her criticism (if there is any) and use the information to genuinely improve your business.
2. Take an Honest, Non-Judgmental Assessment of Yourself
One of the most common reasons for client loss is that the customer is simply not a good fit. Maybe you suspected it when she signed up, or maybe not, but now that she has moved on, ask yourself:
- What signs were there that she was not the right fit?
- Why did you ignore any signs that were present?
- How can you use that information to protect yourself from a less-than-ideal client in the future?
Learning to listen to and trust your instincts from the start and decline the work (or better still, refer her to another coach who is a good fit) you’ll find you have a lot less stress in your day-to-day business. Not to mention a lot more clients who stick around because they love to be in your orbit.
Sometimes, client loss is as simple as a lack of understanding on your client’s part. Do you clearly state:
- The schedule of calls/emails
- The requirements for scheduling a call
- Expectations or requirements of your agreement
- Your fees and the scope of your agreement
Do you also have a system for staying in touch with a client who has gone quiet? Sometimes all it takes is a call to get your wayward client back on track. Many coaching relationships have been salvaged with a simple call or email, so if you haven’t heard from a client in a while, reach out and check-in with them to see how they are doing and ask if there is anything you can do to support them.
Here’s the bottom line: Client loss happens. But if you can learn from each client, and use that intel to improve your business, then even a lost client can be turned into new profits.