Cut a client loose, tell your backer you just don’t see it their way or change out a team member.
It can hurt.
But it can also liberate.
My hairstylist is a single mom. She travels an hour each way to work in a hip salon—every dollar counts. So when a marquee actress (who commands seven-figure movie deals) asked her for a $100 discount, she was flabbergasted. In the discomfort of the moment (there was a bevy of onlookers), she hastily agreed to a discount, immediately regretting it. As we rehashed, she realized that she is always free to say no. Her price is her price and she can fill her chair without accepting less than she is worth.
I’ve made my own deal with the devil. A wealthy curmudgeon convinced me to accept a cut of his revenue increase as part of my fee. I liked him and decided his crustiness was a safety device. But once the new money started rolling in, he reneged on his end of the deal. Kicking him to the curb was a no-brainer.
We teach people how to treat us. And when everything is a price negotiation, it means they aren’t valuing your service. Or you haven’t differentiated yourself enough to make them willingly, happily pay your fees.
Yes, there are such things as bad clients. But quite often it’s just that we have to put some starch in our spine and stand our ground.
Or make them just somebody that we used to know.