Losing an ungrateful customer

Dropping the Pilot (Sir John Tenniel)

Dropping the Pilot (Sir John Tenniel)

Usually we are not happy about losing a client. Sometimes it is our own decision of course when keeping them on is not cost-effective. They might be very demanding but will not reward us by agreeing a higher fee. It might be that we do not have a good relationship because we seem to have a clash of personalities. We are all human and have particular sensitivities. If I am no longer comfortable with a client I will gently suggest they find someone else.

Now and again, a client will drop us without telling us first. We may well have given them quite exceptional service (well, we should have done) and there is no explanation forthcoming. The first we hear of our lost relationship might be when we hear from our successor if we are told at all. I think that someone not telling us directly we are not required any more is very rude, especially when we have worked so hard to make sure we met their every requirement.

Of course we have to get over it even though we have “The quiet sense of something lost.” as Tennyson might have put it. If clients will not tell us why we are being dropped it might be because our replacement is a personal friend to whom they feel an obligation. It might be any sort of frivolous reason.

We just have to be dignified as Bismarck was portrayed in the famous Tenniel cartoon “The dropping of the pilot” and accept our fate. After all, we have other clients. We will get new ones too and there is no time to waste on regrets. We get over it.

Have you been shocked to be jilted by a customer for no reason you knew?

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