How To Disengage From The Wrong Client Safely


If you already feel like screaming at a client who just requested your services, then get out, now!! Not every client is right for you, and that’s A-Okay. So, once you’ve discovered one is the wrong client, it’s time to disengage. Save yourself and save your business; wrong clients can cost you time and money—and your reputation.

Embrace Your Process

In the time since you decided to start an interior design business, you’ve put processes into place (at least I hope you have) to manage the project from a design perspective. You have a process to manage your interior design financial statements, there is a strategy outlined in your interior design business plan to work with subcontractors, and your interior design pricing is clearly identified by a fee structure.

The wrong client will try pushing you away from your processes, but these processes give you the handholds to keep a grip on your business (and yourself) while you shake this client. Anything that steers you from your processes should be declined since it’s not the way you do business. If you choose to break your process – do it because you choose to and do it mindfully – but beware.

You’re Not In Charge Of The Clients’ Happiness

It’s a fact, and one we all forget: you cannot be responsible for someone else’s happiness; you can only be responsible for yours. You don’t have to be all things to all people. Don’t flex to fit someone else’s idea of an interior designer. Be yourself and recognize that this is not going to be enough for some people, and those are people whom you do not need to satisfy.

Of course, you want to provide customer service and please your clients, but it’s not realistic to think that you can meet everyone’s needs. You’ll find that the majority of clients align to your business practices and connect with you, and you develop a client base that reflects your values and work ethics. When one does not fit well, you can and should let them go as soon as possible. It is best for both parties.

Bless and Release

It’s fair to decline a project because the request(s) falls outside the bounds of your business practices. Allow yourself to say that your offerings and their needs don’t mesh. It’s okay!

You don’t have to feel badly for them or feel responsible for their response to rejection. You also don’t want to inflict more damage on a wounded soul, so disengage with blessings on your part. If someone is `angry, harsh, or hurt, wish them well and let them go. Don’t dwell, hold grudges, or revisit your choice. Release the negativity and move on.

Not If, But When You Have The Wrong Client

It is always a possibility that the wrong client will find you. But you don’t have to worry and wonder how to handle that day. You can take control of all aspects of your business—from the money to the clients—literally starting today.

Figure out a strategy as part of your interior design business plan and include this as an element. What are the steps you’ll take to disengage once you identify someone as a wrong client for you?

You also don’t have to reinvent the wheel. From wording a rejection to handling fallout, others in The Designers Inner Circle have been through this and can help offer guidance. Join today and be prepared tomorrow to protect yourself from the wrong client by learning best practices for disengaging.

Michele WilliamsComment