I have to admit … I didn’t have any idea what the results might look like for the poll I ran last week about whether you should follow the popular advice and “sack your worst client.”

The poll is still running but here are the results so far.

The question was “What is your immediate thought when you hear people say you should sack your worst client”?

44% said we need to define what worst might mean

38% said it was just good business

18% said it was disrespectful

Now let me be very clear, I’m not for one moment suggesting that anyone should continue to work with a client that you either can’t help or can’t have a positive relationship with.  And when it comes to defining what “worst” might mean, it often comes down to one of those two dimensions:

  1. For whatever reason, we are not going to be able to help you get the results we promise, or
  2. We just don’t think we’re going to be able to have a strong and positive relationship with you.

If either of these conditions exist, then there is an argument for finding a way to part as friends.

That said, I’m very concerned with the cavalier way the concept of “sacking your worst clients” is thrown around.  These days it’s almost become a badge of honour and it really flies in the face of buyer safety.

Let me ask you this … imagine you overheard two team members, in a company you had paid money to and entrusted with a problem you couldn’t solve for yourself, talking about how they might need to “sack” you as a client because you weren’t a fit.  How would you feel? After all, they pursued you with their marketing and then sold you into the relationship.

Perhaps we need to think a little deeper about this idea of sacking your worst clients.