You’re Fired: Lose Your Problem Clients for the Good of Your Coaching Business

Jun 12, 2011 by

I have this fantasy inspired by Donald Trump on The Apprentice. I look across a big table in a boardroom and say, “You’re fired!” But instead of some contestant trying to win a reality show competition, the person I’m firing is a problem coaching client.

We’ve all been there. We needed the money, so we accepted this coaching client even though our guts screamed at us we shouldn’t work with.

What happens? You dread the time with this client. It’s a struggle to get them to take just one step. You feel absolutely sucked dry after the appointment. They don’t get the results they can. They will most likely never refer you. And you end up questioning if this is the right road for you to take.

Problem coaching clients are bad news. But making money is a factor all coaches are constantly facing. It’s not easy to make a living as a coach. So, many take whomever they can get. Turning down or firing a client isn’t as easy as it sounds.

Consider these points before you rule out the idea of turning down money by “firing” a problem coaching client:

  • You opened your coaching business to help people. If this client is not actively involved in taking your advice to heart, wouldn’t it be better to work instead with coaching clients who do? That would help those clients and you.
  • If you weren’t spending all this time trying to please this problem client, you would have more time to find and serve clients you do enjoy.
  • If working with this coaching client is sucking up your energy, mental ability and positive emotions, how could that possibly be good for a) this client and b) all your other clients?
  • Is the money truly worth the headaches, upset stomach and drain on your soul?

As a coach, most likely you got into the coaching business to help people. Reserve your time and energy for those you can help the most. Don’t let the negativity you feel while working with a problem coaching client rub off on the rest of your work.

You want to enjoy your business and be the most effective coach you can? Then figure out a polite way to “fire” your problem clients. The Donald’s right about that. Now if he could just get a clue about the hair …


Kathy Jo Slusher-Haas

Market Your Coaching Business




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