Friday, August 21, 2015

Losing Clients: How To Turn Negatives Into Positives

Losing clients is always a bummer. For starters, you’ve lost a customer’s business, which is bad enough in and of itself. But then there must have been some reason for their leaving. Some will tell you straightforwardly the reason or reasons they no longer wish to do business with you; others will simply disappear without a trace. The latter is perhaps the worse situation, as not knowing the reason why they left can be painful.

However, not all is lost. There are positives yet to wring out of this bad situation!

The following are some typical reasons clients give for changing services. In each situation, I've outlined how you can turn the loss into a win!


If you’re losing clients due to price, it may be time to figure out why they believe your services are not worth the price. Balance the time and effort you are putting into your services and re-evaluate whether or not you are asking for too much.

Of course, you may be charging a perfectly fair price, and the customer has simply fallen on difficult financial times. People budget, but people don’t always budget well. Your client may have realized your services are pricier than they can afford, or perhaps something happened that tightened their budget elsewhere. It’s rarely a straightforward scenario. It’s always best to revisit your prices every so often and adjust as needed.

Sub-par Service

This hits where it hurts. You’ll want to try to understand exactly what it was about your service that made it so terrible. Perhaps it is something you didn’t notice as being off-putting or rude; perhaps you realize that you or your employees are too curt in your correspondence -- it could be any number of things. But accept it, let the client know you’re going to do better in the future, and then follow through with it.

Ask yourself if you're making too many promises that you or your team aren't able to follow through with due to money, time, team size, etc. Have a meeting with your team (or, if you work solo, yourself via mirror) and remind everyone that any business relies on customer satisfaction to succeed.

If you follow through on promises to improve, lost clients might be so impressed with your willingness to address grievances that they return. Don’t give the lost client reason to spread ill will against you to their friends and acquaintances. If you deal with the loss professionally and courteously, the client may still recommend you to others -- thereby turning a loss into a potential gain.


Sometimes it’s simply just not the right time for your client. Your job is to convince them otherwise. However, if the customer is adamant, don’t keep pushing. The client might be dealing with some hard times, and pressing her into a corner is not going to make her feel any better about your business.

Know when to change gears. Make sure you use this as an opportunity to hold on to their business later on. Be sure to establish that you’re still available down the line, and that you are always ready to pick up where you left off.

Not the Right Fit

Sometimes you and the client just don’t fit well together. You have irreconcilable styles and perspectives. This is nothing to take offense over! Use this opportunity to ask what it was that didn’t gel right (if you don’t already know). If it’s something you can easily fix, offer a solution and try to bridge the gap between yourself and the client. But if they resist, let it go and politely part ways. 

In all of the above scenarios, the event professional is able to make positives out of negatives primarily through simple tact and professionalism. Sure, it’s never good to lose a client, but it’s foolish to make it worse than it needs to be. 

Developing a skill for lasering in on what good can be had in any given scenario -- that is perhaps the most valuable skill an event professional -- any professional -- can have. Always ask yourself, “How can I turn this failure into an opportunity?” and you’ll surely find success.

Retaining clients is a lot easier with Inspherio, the all-in-one event planning and business management program. For starters, you won't be a disorganized mess, jumping from application to application to application, which means you'll drastically cut down on slip-ups that could cost you your clients. Everything you need to succeed in the event industry is located in the cloud-based Inspherio. Every minute you waste jumping from program to program is a minute taken away from your clients, existing and potential.

It's time to get going. Try our free 30-day trial today!

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