What to Do When You Have to Fire A Client or Customer…

How Many Times Have You Been There?

firing customers and clients

It’s not easy…. we all come to that place where you are alone.  At night, lying in your bed watching the clock tick the minutes away.  Dreading the moment when you know you have to make a decision. 

Sometimes, it’s easy. The decision is made for us.  Either the client or customer stops interacting with you, and you never hear from them again.  In those cases, thank your lucky stars.  Many times it’s for the best.

Other times, it’s not that simple.  Many times, the customer or client will view you as their “only chance” or will be unwilling to take the time to find another practitioner to help them.  It can get very uncomfortable in those times.  Especially when you don’t know what to say.

Fortunately, The Red Pill Sales System is built for times like this.  As in every interaction with the customer, the better you know the “mental martial arts” to control the conversation, the better you will become.  Not to mention the added benefit to the customer by being served properly.

You Aren’t Superman

Think about it.  You couldn’t possibly serve every person who wanted to buy or sell a home in your community.  Even if you wanted to, you as a Realtor® or Investor couldn’t possibly help them all.  There’s just not enough hours in the day.

So suppose you wanted to set a minimum goal for yourself of 25 transactions a year (**A recommended MINIMUM Standard**).  How many contracts do you really need to close?  Just 25!  How many do you need to write?  Well, that’s another matter.  Primarily about your skills of course, but the basic idea is that you don’t need many.

In fact, if you have 52 weeks to find 25 deals, you could effectively spend approximately 7-10 days locating a deal and another 2-3 in negotiations etc. and closing.  Multiply that over the course of the year, and boom…you got your goal.

However, there will be people along the way who will “clog up the system” so to speak.   People who, through no fault of their own, will find themselves getting in the way of your goals.  Now, before I hurt people’s feelings, lets just be honest together.  We are in it for the money.

Ugh, The UGLY Truth Comes Out

Yes, I said it.  We are inoops it for the money.  I don’t care if you are an investing Realtor® who’s intent is to sell the home for a profit, or an Investor looking to wholesale the property.  The reality is that we want to help the less fortunate, however; it comes at a cost.

The reality is, as much as we want to help people, we can’t help them if we are one of them.

Once you are “ok” with the concept that you are in it for a profit, then you can focus on how you can best serve your customers and clients.

How to Fire A Customer

At every point, there comes a point where you have analyzed the “cost benefit analysis” of the customer relationship you are in.  You have made the determination that for one reason or another, you will not be able to complete what you had promised to do. 

Either as an investor, or as a Realtor® with a listing, you oftentimes must find a way to “let someone go” easily so that you can extricate yourself from a bad position.  While this is not intended as a “how to” to break a contract or legal information about how to write a contract, it is useful to know how to position the conversation for the maximum benefit.

One of the hardest things is admitting the truth.  Assuming that you are in that place, where you have decided that “today’s the day”, then you need to make that call.

The Setup

Oftentimes, a simple call is all that is needed.  Unless you have some contract reason to meet (i.e. to sign mutual cancellation orders to escrow that for some reason could not be done in counterpart through email or fax.) you generally need not meet.

However, your professionalism and courtesy on how you handle the conversation will leave a lasting impression of your business.  Understand that from the outset, the customer or client will likely have some negative reactions.

Frame the call in the most positive light possible.  For example, I have found that complete honesty is the most effective way to communicate negative information.  A great friend of mine who recently passed used to have a saying he shared with me…

There is no good time for bad news.

Dr. Michael German, PhD.

Call the customer or client at a time that would seem most convenient for their schedule.  Do not call them during dinnertime, or when they may be putting the kids to bed.  Think about how and where they are mentally at the moment you call. 

Arrange in your mind in advance of your call the specific reason why you are choosing to no longer do business with them.  Obviously, you can’t say “gee, you are a total pain in the ass, and I can’t see me making enough money to deal with you….”  That would be bad….. mmmmkay?


If the reason is that you cannot fulfill your obligations on the contract (no matter what the contract is, a Buyer Broker Agreement, a Listing Agreement, a Purchase Contract), then let them know.  Even if it is not necessarily “good information” to hear.

Potential reasons for cancellation of services:

  1. Inability to adequately service them for their needs. (Buyer wants agent out all the time and never makes offers)
  2. Discovery of latent defect during inspection period. (You found a sex offender or something)
  3. Change of Focus (You may be not in that line of real estate or investment anymore)

Customers Vs. Clients

Remember, there is a difference between the two.  Customers do not have any expectation of fiduciary or representation.  Clients do. 

If you are an investor or investing Realtor®, ensure that you are not breaking any provisions of any contracts that you may have with the parties in question, and be sure to use any of the available cancellation methods provided to you in the contract.

Regardless of their placement in the contract and subsequent escrows, you must always remember that your ability to handle this type of conversation can help you, or hurt you. Without properly knowing your rights under the contract, you can find yourself in a tremendous jam in a short period of time.  Do not hesitate to seek legal counsel or broker if you feel that it is necessary or if you have questions that could be easily answered.

Bandages for Relationships

Oftentimes, when you are letting a customer or client go, it can be, shall we say, disruptive.  Many times, the customer or client you are dealing with has very few options, and may be upset that now you are one less option! 

Many times, the reason why they are upset is about the fact that now they have to re-start the entire process.  If you are a Realtor® letting a buyer go, or an Investing Realtor® or Wholesaler who has to cancel the contract, the person you are dealing won’t always be happy.

If you approach the call with empathy, and honesty, then understand that their anger or frustration may come out… although it seems directed at you, understand that they are simply reacting to a situation. 

Do not take personally what they say.  Simply listen to them and allow them to speak their mind.  Be firm in your resolve and look for areas of compromise.  If it is simply a miscommunication that can be easily remedied (i.e. a price reduction) then many times, you can keep what otherwise might be a dead deal.

Keep the door open for further negotiations.  Remember, you are the one who decides to “take their call” again if you leave it open.  Angry words, bullying, and empty threats are not the mark of a professional.  If you keep it friendly, chances are they may “come around” to your way of thinking in the future.

If they are generally an unpleasant person to work with, or someone you would not want to associate with, there is no reason to deliver your “coup de grace” as you so desperately dream of!  You know the one, where you go in and tell them off!  Keep it clean, keep it professional, nobody has to know your true feelings until you choose to reveal them.

What You Can Read To Avoid the 1446 Words Above

  1. You can’t help everyone
  2. You don’t want to help everyone
  3. Sometimes you gotta fire people
  4. Set up the conversation properly
  5. Call them, no need to come in
  6. Act like its your fault, ask a lot of questions to see if you can fix it.
  7. Don’t break the contract
  8. Fire them with the quickness…
  9. Leave the door open for further negotiations
  10. Be nice.  You never know where they could lead you to.

Have a POWERFUL Sales Day!

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