Got Client Clutter in Your Closet?
by Kendall SummerHawk

Do you have clothes in your closet
that make your heart sink when you
think of wearing them? Maybe they no
longer fit, or the last time they were
in fashion was when Pat Benetar
was singing, "Hit me with your best
shot!", or the person you were when you bought them isn't someone you even
recognize anymore.

Well, the same thing happens with clients. Some no longer fit. Others are vintage,
holdovers from a time when you were just getting started, or willing to work with
anyone who would fog a mirror.

Cleaning out your "client closet" is a MUST if you want to make room for new clients
who are the perfect fit for you now, and will happily pay you more.

But shedding a client is not the same thing as getting rid of a piece of clothing.
This is a real, live person, with thoughts and feelings, and needs and desires that, up
until now, have been yours to try and fulfill.

So what do you do when you want to cut loose but you definitely do NOT want to
hurt anyone's feelings?

Here are 5 simple tips to clear out your "client closet" and make room for new,
exciting clients that will feel like instant favorites!

Tip #1 Stop trying to make it all okay for everyone!

Ladies, listen up and repeat after me, "I am not responsible for my clients' life or
business." Pardon me for talking tough here, but no one crowned you "she who is
responsible for all", now did they?

Your job is to do an extraordinary job for your clients. When it's time to move on, your
job is to still do an extraordinary job for your clients, by being loving, kind, and above
all, honest!

Trying to make it all okay for your client has a positive intention, but the actions that
stem from it are more smothering than truly loving.

Opt instead to take responsibility for yourself! And in doing so, you'll carve out a
path of clarity and decisiveness that your soon-to-be-free clients will pick up on.

Tip #2 Give yourself permission to let go of guilt

Feeling guilty doesn't help. In fact, I've seen it make most situations difficult,
complicated, and messy. Guilt is one of those emotions that keeps us stuck. It also is
very "me" focused, which is not where you really want your attention to be, is it?

Instead of feeling guilty and nagging yourself with the, "But she was there for me
when I was first getting started" speech (or whatever your version of the "but..."
conversation is), consider this: by doing right by yourself, you are doing right by your
clients. You're setting an example of courage, boldness, and self-care by making a
decision—and following through—that isn't always easy.

Take my word for it, your clients (yes, even the ones you're letting go of) will be
impressed with your clear direction and sticking to what works for you.

Tip #3 Ask yourself "who wants what you have?"

Being ready with a referral when you're letting a client go feels great, and sends them
on their way with a resource to take your place.

Be sure and tell them why you love referring to their new resource, and they'll quickly
gain confidence in their new opportunities.

Tip #4 Don't hang on to anyone but the best

Letting go of "they're not that bad" clients can be a lot tougher than the ones that are
clearly no longer a fit. Clients earn their mediocre status by being late paying you, late
to appointments, slow or no referrals, not following through with assignments, or
changing appointment times.

Whatever the reason, you know you're not really thrilled to work with them. They're
okay, but not great. They a nice person, but the drama they bring in to your working
relationship keeps them (and you) from getting the high level of results that are

These are the types of clients that are taking up far more of your time and attention
that you realize. Here's a quick test: think of working with them for the next year. Now
think of NOT working with them again. Which feels better?

If you're instant, unedited response was to feel relief, then you know what to do,
sooner, rather than later. I know it's hard but the lift you're going to feel is worth
oh-so-much-more! And the wonderful new client you'll bring on board to take their
place will be a delight.

Tip #5 Stay focused on your heart, what you want, and where you're going

Looking back can bring on a touch of sadness. Try looking ahead at where you're
taking your business. Think of someone you are really excited about working with. By
keeping your focus on what's ahead, you'll free yourself from any wistfulness that
may try and pull you back.

In the end, being fully present for your clients, day in and day out, even in a
completion conversation, is a gift. Like finding a home for that metallic fringe jacket
with the big shoulder pads, circa 1981, letting go of clients who no longer fit your
business model (or your energy) creates a positive vacuum that the universal will
quickly fill with perfect new clients you love as if they were old friends.

About the author: Kendall SummerHawk, the "Horse Whisperer for Business" delivers smart,
savvy ways entrepreneurs can turn their hectic business into a smooth-running, fun, 6-figure
money-making dream. To learn more about her book, Brilliance Unbridled, and sign up for more
FREE tips like these, visit her site at
Kendall SummerHawk.  

Click here to read Kendall's HOW profile.
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