If you fire a freelance client, whether short- or long-term, it can be a nerve-wracking experience. Even though we know we’ll feel relief on the other side of the breakup, we dread breaking the news–and then working out the transition period.
If you’ve decided to fire a freelance client via email, we’ve pulled together five scripts for some of the situations you might find yourself in. If you prefer to end the client relationship over the phone, feel free to use the scripts as a jumping-off point to your conversation (and for reference throughout).
Before we dive into the scripts, let’s lay a few client-firing ground rules.
Ground Rules for Firing a Freelance Client
Firing a freelance client is a big step, and it’s almost never easy. These basic guidelines will help you stay on track as you navigate making the break.
- Give plenty of notice if possible. If you have a contract, abide by the amount of notice your client requires.
- Complete all your outstanding tasks, unless you and the client negotiate a hand-off to another teammate or contractor.
- Keep your message as positive as possible, and keep the focus on you–because even if the situation has been awful, you don’t want to burn bridges if you don’t absolutely have to.
- Don’t over-explain your reasons for leaving (you can say “due to personal reasons” if you want, but you really don’t have to elaborate).
- Keep your message short and to-the-point.
- If you’re firing a good client, try to recommend a colleague or two who can step in and help them out.
- If they beg you to stay, be firm. Sometimes, clients make it difficult for us to make the moves we need to make. There’s no need to become emotional or lash out, but do protect the boundaries you’ve determined for yourself as you step away.
- Refer to your contract and your agreed-upon scope of work often if your client tries to add additional, last-minute tasks.
- Don’t be afraid to issue a partial refund if you need to exit a project or client relationship quickly.
Ready for the scripts? Let’s go!
Script #1 – When the Team’s Great, but the Work Could Be Better
Sometimes, you’re a part of a team that is made up of great people. But, the work could be better. (Or, you know, the work is outright bad.)
Whatever the case, if you fire a freelance client like this, it could create quite a dilemma for you. You might not be a fan of the work you’re doing, but you don’t want to let the team down, either. Still, you’ve recognized that it’s time to move on–so you sit down to write that email.
Rather than detail your problems with the work itself, focus on how much you enjoyed working with the team. Keeping your emphasis on the warm fuzzies you felt for your team will make it infinitely easier to make this transition.
Hope you’re having a great week so far! I wanted to drop a note to let you know that
This article was written by Haley Walden and originally published on Elegant Themes Blog.