Not all clients are created equal

Let’s face a harsh reality: Some clients suck.

Some clients waste too much of your time. Some people don’t follow your advice. Some people don’t pay you in a timely manner.

Two truths that might sting a little, either for you or for them:

1). If you have these clients, it’s YOUR fault. Yes, you. You let them into your business, and worse, you allow them to stay.

2). You can and should outright fire these clients. Make a list, send them a nice letter about your business changing direction, and cut them loose.

Today, I want to invite you to take a stand.

I want to empower you, to give you permission, to fire your crappy clients.

Here’s an exercise for you to do. You have time to be reading this email right now, so you have time to do this exercise. Drop everything else you’re doing, take 10 minutes to do this. Yes, I’m serious.

1. Grab a pen and paper.
2. Write down the names, off the top of your head, of your 5 most frustrating clients. You know who they are without looking them.
3. Open your A/R aging report. Write down the names of the 5 people that owe you the most money and/or are the farthest behind.
4. Look at your email inbox. Do you have any clients that have sent you multiple emails that you haven’t read yet because you know they’re going to be a time suck? Have you snoozed any emails from clients because you don’t want to deal with them? Write them down, too.

You now have your list. This is your PITA list. The problem children.

Now FIRE them. All of them. Get them out of your life.

Revoke POAs and send case termination letters. Send them any paid-for work product and return original documents. Suspend any recurring ACH or credit card billing. Send final invoices. For the accounts receivable, send demand letters, and then turn them over to your attorney or hire a collection agency or write them off. Send them all letters saying you’re “changing direction in your business” (it’s a great phrase) and refer them to a local competitor that you don’t particularly care for.

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Make them go away. Make them somebody else’s headache, not yours.

The firing and closeout process may take a few days. Shuffle around client appointments if you have to. Miss tonight’s recital if you have to. Come in over the weekend if you have to. Just get it done, rapidly. Do NOT drag this out. Get. It. Done.

Because then, your life can begin anew. Then, you can work on replacing these crappy, non-paying, time-wasting clients with IDEAL™ clients. Paying clients. Higher-fee clients. Clients that respect your time.

For more practical tips on creating a happier, more efficient tax firm, you should be reading “The Profitable Accountant”. This mailed, paper and ink newsletter is just one of the many benefits of Tax Marketing Gold membership. To become a member, go to: