Dear Tammy: I have some clients that I'd rather wish I didn't. Can I fire them?
Tammy: Before you play your inner non-political Donald Trump's game of The Apprentice and utter the words, "You're Fired!" think twice.
First, as much as you want them to, not every client is going to be picture perfect. Clients want what they want and they want it now. They expect that it's your job to deliver to them the trip that they've been dreaming about for years. And, if something goes wrong on that trip, they want someone to complain to and blame, and that's you even if it wasn't your fault.
On the other hand, there are just some clients who are impossible - they make constant changes to their itinerary without finally booking anything and some corporate clients are notoriously late in paying. So, yes, there are some reasons why you should hand a client their walking papers, but before you do so, consider the following:
Fix it: Can you do something to repair the situation? Obviously if you're thinking about telling your client to vamoose, something is already wrong. Have a heart-to-heart with your client about the problem. Do they keep changing their mind and not booking? Ask them what you can do to get them to finally book the trip and what the problem might be. Are they nasty to you? Maybe you can work via email so that everything is in writing.
Move on: Is your client verbally harassing you? Are they not paying their bill on time? At no time do you need a client who is taking out their life frustrations on you in a demeaning or harassing way, nor do you need someone who doesn't respect the job you're doing and never puts the check in the mail. The time and energy you spend on this client can be spent finding a client who is more tolerable.
Do it professionally: If you need to fire someone, do it professionally because you never know who they know. Your reputation is everything in this business. Let them down graciously. Tell them something like, "Thank you so much for your business, but I'm completely overloaded. Maybe I can refer you to another agent?" That gets you off the hook without the added complications. Whatever you do, don't stick your finger in their face and yell, "You're Fired!" Leave that to the reality shows.
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