3 Steps to Kindly Ending the Relationship If You Feel It’s the Best Thing to Do… Plus How to Make Sure the Clients You Work With Are the Right Fit for You, AND You For Them
As a life coach, you know that it is not only your job, but your honor and privilege to serve clients with dedicated, results-oriented, heart-centered life coaching. And while most of your coaching relationships will be positive and fruitful, firing a client may sometimes be necessary if this is not the case.
The truth is that even if you deeply wish to serve a client, sometimes you just might not be the right fit for one another. Life coaching is uplifting and fun – so if you’re not enjoying your sessions, there’s something going on there that you want to pay attention to.
But how do you know if a client is ultimately the right fit for you, or whether or not you should end a coaching relationship? And when the time comes, how do you actually do it?
3 steps you can follow for firing a client
Let’s say things aren’t going well.
- Maybe a client is habitually late on payments or regularly skips sessions with you.
- Or maybe they dodge taking action and habitually complain about their lack of success… and you just don’t know what else you can do for them.
- Or maybe your values just don’t seem to align.
That’s okay! It happens.
But it’s important to take the proper steps when you believe it’s time to end a coaching relationship in order to do so with intention, love, and care.
1. Try to mend the relationship
When you notice things feeling adrift, before terminating a coaching relationship, try getting things back on track by communicating what you’re noticing, and ask what the client feels might help.
Since you’re the coach, it is your responsibility to make the client feel safe and to show them that you’re willing to mend things as necessary, if possible.
2. Make a firm decision with yourself
If you know in your heart that this relationship will not be fruitful for you or your client, make a firm and unwavering decision to end it.
Know that it is healthy to make a non-negotiable decision to end things and prepare yourself to go into a meeting with your client to clearly state your desire to terminate sessions.
3. Tell your client honestly and kindly that the relationship is over
When you sit down to talk to your client, be honest and direct in communicating that you are ending the coaching relationship.
Remember, you have made up your mind and this is non-negotiable.
Tell them in sincerity the ways you are proud of them for the progress they’ve made, wish them well, and stress that both parties aren’t right for each other.
If necessary, have money ready to refund to them at the time of your meeting.
One of the best scenes in any movie about the non-negotiable nature of a firing decision that has been finalized comes to us from the movie, Moneyball. In the scene below, Brad Pitt plays Oakland A’s GM, Billy Beane, and teaches Jonah Hill’s character, data scientist, Peter Brand, how to fire someone.
So with all that said, here are some things to keep in mind that might actually prevent firing a client.
3 ways to identify if a client is a good fit for you from the beginning
The key to not firing a client is to ensure from the beginning that the clients you take on are a great fit with you and your coaching practice, and you for them and their needs!
If you know ahead of time that you can probably be of huge service to a client, and that the client is fully on board with you as their coach, this significantly reduces the chances of firing them down the line.
From the beginning, a client who is a good fit demonstrates:
1. A strong desire to grow
A client that’s a good fit will strongly want to grow and change, and will want to put in whatever work necessary to do so.
2. A willingness to be coached
Some people think they want to be coached, but want you to do the work for them to attain results.
Or they may be willing to be coached, but they insist that you make it work their way.
Frankly, if things worked their way, they’d already have results!
A client who is a good fit understands this, and is open to receiving your coaching and trying new ways to attain a goal.
3. A willingness to invest
A person who is a good fit is willing to invest not just money in your coaching program, but also their time, energy and enthusiasm!
They want to actually try out the things you suggest and take action to attain their goals.
They don’t look for reasons to blame (or blame you!) for not making progress. Instead, they keep investing themselves in the process.
For more on identifying the best clients for you, download the 4-Part Ideal Client Checklist.
Firing a client doesn’t make you a bad coach
In fact, letting a client go when it’s not the right fit makes you a better heart-centered coach.
The goal is to serve others at the highest level, and if that’s not happening, the relationship is not worthwhile… for either of you!
There are so very many people out there that want to be coached, who will show up and do the work and grow tremendously on account of your work together.
Don’t be afraid of letting go of relationships that aren’t a good fit. If you’re being the best heart-centered life coach possible, more clients will absolutely come to you.
And now, I have a free resource for you
For more step-by-step strategies and proven secrets on how to start or grow a successful life coaching business that makes a profound and lasting difference in the lives of others, and supports a lifestyle that you desire, click here to register for a FREE life coaching workshop.