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How to sack a client- nicely.

Unfortunately, not all relationships you have with clients are going to be positive happy ones. There will be the odd occasion when it is just best for all involved to part ways. Mainly you! Of course, no one is perfect and you’re going to run into the occasional difficulty and this blog post is what to do when you’ve tried to rectify the issue and you’ve not made much progress.  

There are 101 reasons why you might not want to work with someone and it is completely up to you who you choose to work with.

Here’s a list of reasons why a client may not be ideal for you –

  1. She is a diva, and is way too much hard work – stresses you out before, during AND after her appointment
  2. Makes unnecessary comments about how much you charge or earn
  3. Is never happy with your work – even if they keep coming back
  4. Cancels on you often and doesn’t give enough notice – or does give enough notice – but is unreliable
  5. Lets their kids/pets run riot while you’re trying to work
  6. Requests you out of your normal working hours
  7. Expects you to bend over backward to accommodate them just because
  8. Has a dirty house and you’re expected to work in a dark, dirty pit
  9. They are rude to you or just talk to you like shit and make you feel inadequate
  10. You get a bad vibe from them
  11. They ask 500 questions before you’ve even had the consultation
  12. Assumes it’s ok to pay later or have their hair done then tell you after they can’t afford it

The list goes on. And on! 

But, by reading this post I will assume you have someone in mind who you would like to remove from your books.

This is always going to be awkward, but it’s better to feel awkward one more time rather than spend another 3/6/12 months feeling awful, anxious and moaning about someone.

In order of personal preference – if you’re brave enough, face to face, then a phone call then an email then as a last resort,  a text message.

I have done emails, texts, and face to face letting go. It really depends on each situation and how professional you want it to be. The choice is yours and if you choose to be unprofessional about it, then that is your call! You make your own choices in life ♥

Map out what you want to say, I usually start with the reasons I can’t carry on then break it down and make it a bit more positive sounding.

You want to avoid saying – you’re never actually ready on time I have to wait for you to get out of the shower despite you knowing FULL well when your appointment is, you talk to me like you think I’m a member of your staff, you seem to think my life revolves around you, I think you’re a prick! ( actual thoughts about a client I let go of!) haha so yeah none of that, please! That is what fellow professionals are for, to have a rant with.

What you do want to be doing, is letting them know why you’re letting them go in the nicest yet firmest way, thanking them for their custom, making yourself clear that you will no longer be available for them, including a list of other stylists/beauticians/service providers that may want to take them on. And of course, being polite.

TIP – Telling them you are busy every time they ask is NOT useful to anyone! Not your unaware client nor you. They will keep coming back to you if you don’t tell them no. So you have to repeat the process repeatedly. I’m sure most people would prefer you told them directly rather than keep stringing them along. It’s not fair to anyone.

Here’s a few copy, edit and paste messages for you. You’re welcome ♥

For the one who is NEVER happy with your work!

Hi [name], I hope you’re well. I am really sorry to have this discussion, but due to our past few appointments and your unhappiness with my work, I think it is best that we find you someone else who can do a better job. I’ve got a few numbers I can send over. Thank you for your custom. Take care. [your name]

Then send a few other phone numbers of local stylists.

For the one who cancels on you last minute/repeatedly

Hi [name], I hope you’re well! I have been making some changes in my business and I can no longer offer appointments to any client who has cancelled on me [last minute/repeatedly] as I need to run a tight ship. Unfortunately, this does include you so I will no longer be able to offer you an appointment. I have a list of other stylists you can try. Thank you for your past custom. Take care. [Your name]

It’s not me, it is definitely you!

Hi [name], I hope you’re well! It’s been lovely to do your [hair/nails/tan] but due to personal reasons, I am no longer going to be able to do that for you. I know it’s short notice but after considering how to deal with this as quickly and professionally as possible I thought some notice was better than none. I’ve found a list of other [stylists/techs/tanners] who may be able to help you out. Thank you for understanding and your custom. Take care. [Your name]

For the ones who have messed you around repeatedly

Hi [name], thanks so much for requesting an appointment but since our last meeting I have made various changes in my business and I can no longer offer you an appointment. I have a list of other stylists who may be able to offer you what you need. Take care. [your name]

For the ones who don’t pay on time, or never have enough money

Hi [name], I hope you’re well! I have enjoyed doing you [hair/nails/tan], however I feel that we can no longer continue this relationship due to the lack of payment at various appointments. I am making changes within my business to ensure I don’t get left without payment in the future, so this means that I will no longer be able to offer you any appointments. I have a list of other [whatever] that you can try. Thank you for understanding. [Your name]

The complete cop-out excuse for someone you have grown to HATE

Hi [name], I hope you’re well! After doing some new plans and long term business goals, I have decided to work with just a specific set of clients moving forward. That said, I will unfortunately no longer be able to work with you as of [immediate effect/after your next appointment]. I have a list of other stylists I can recommend for you to save you looking. Thank you for understanding. [your name]

What you must remember is that this is not a discussion. Do not get into a debate with them if they reply.

A short simple response to anything stroppy/rude or they get all emotional on you is –

Thank you for getting back to me, but my decision is final. I have given you the details of others so please contact them.

Or just don’t reply at all. You have said your piece. Block them if you need to.

By letting go of all the bad stuff, you’re opening the doors for a tonne of good stuff (clients). You deserve a happy business but you need to put the work in first.

I will leave you with that. So go and get busy. If you need help or some moral support, come and share it in the Facebook group – The Hairy Business Lounge . Mention you’ve read the blog and you’re ready to take control.

Good luck!

Stephanie xxx

Photo by Gary Chan on Unsplash

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