I have fired clients (and been fired) on a few occasions and I have found that a way for me to lower the risk for this to happen is to focus on educating the clients before we go into business.
Sometimes perhaps spending a bit more time than seems reasonable at first, just to make (more) sure that we are a good fit. For example, I might use 15-20 minutes to do a video commenting on their website and the options to solve their problems and what I expect of them, unless they pay me to do it. I send that with my proposal.
The results have been overall good, in terms of filtering clients and avoiding a conflict later on, but I am still relatively new in the business so I can do better in terms of filtering clients even before I get to spend time to do a video for them.
I have a form on my site that kind of works to that effect, but sometimes people slip through – and through the 2nd ‘phase’ (video and talk by phone/mail) – who should not have been clients of mine, and I suppose that is always a risk, because nobody is perfect (not me, not my clients).
But I will go a long way to try to qualify my clients before I take them on, if I can get a better (and sometimes more stable) business relationship afterwards. It is worth it, more often than not, I feel.
I tend to think that WP consultants who have not seriously reflected on when and how to fire clients simply have not been burned yet by ‘bad clients’.
So maybe it is unavoidable to get fired or having to fire. But what is avoidable is certainly having to relive it over and over again.
From a comment on The Matt Report