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How To Part Ways Professionally In Business

client relationships gratefulness investors respect Jun 24, 2024
Dog waving goodbye with text: How To Part Ways Professionally In Business
What is at the heart of a growing business? Client relationships.
But as you go along in your entrepreneurial journey, “Til death do us part” might not be the most accurate description of some of your business relationships. 
Yes, the goal is long-term relationships. But you need to both be thriving. Which means there might be a time to say goodbye. 
“Not every client ticks the right box for us and it's time for graduation (parting or not).” Kerry Zarb
If you’re after a transactional business, you might keep them around for the paycheck. But if your goal is a relational business, and a growing business, then let’s take a look at some practical ways to navigate parting ways respectfully.


Firstly, it is okay to say goodbye to a client because not everyone is your flavor in business. It’s okay to let someone else be the solution that suits them and doesn’t cause you discomfort (or even pain.)
“We don't want business to be about enduring pain.” Kerry Zarb
You have the right as a business owner to have good client relationships. But then remember that those clients are the gold. They're the ones you need to be most attentive to because they are investing in your business in a big way.
You’ll learn as you spend time together what that relationship looks like, what the boundaries are, and how you will both thrive relationally. (link to blog 1 of episode 57)
And don’t begrudge the clients that were difficult, or that you choose to graduate. Treat them with respect and gratefulness, even as you part ways. 
Be grateful for the time they were with your business because you can still learn a lot from the time you worked together.
They teach you lessons. They help you know what you don't want more of. They teach you how to always bring your A game. All of these lessons you learn from doing business with another human.


Knowing when it’s time to say goodbye is a very important part of having a relational business. But be careful of these 2 responses to difficult clients.
Number 1: Don't just cast them aside in your mind and treat them poorly while keeping them around on your billing list. Remember that they are spending their money on you, investing back into you and your business by paying your invoices
Number 2: Don’t simply rush to say goodbye. Treat your client relationships like real relationships, and give yourselves time to work things first. 
If you have a client that isn't acting right, you have to try fix it first. You have to have those hard conversations and put those boom gates down or put some systems in place.
If you’ve done the hard work, it may still be time to graduate them as a client. 
 “If you have a high maintenance client then graduate them.” Kim White
And if you are sure that it’s the right time to part ways, then make sure to frame the farewell in your mind with respect and gratefulness. 



But the other side of the coin is that if your client says, "Hey, I've sent you 27 messages over the last 3 months and haven't heard back from you," you might have to do some self-reflection. 
“If you're neglecting them or ignoring them they really need to graduate you.” Kim White
Your clients are the investors in your relational business. And they are paying you with their investment dollars. 
Is it possible that you haven't treated a high maintenance client that well because you didn't look at them as an "investor?" Maybe they weren't even that high maintenance, maybe you just forgot to be good to them.
Are you treating others as you want to be treated?  It's a 2 way street of respect and gratefulness in business. And you have to make sure you are always bringing your A-game in all of your client relationships, not just sometimes or with your favorites. 
Remember that you can part ways in business, and still have good relationships down the line. That’s the goal. 
When you treat people with resect, they remember that. 
And if you choose to remember your time together with gratefulness, then that will help you part ways professionally and keep moving forward on your entrepreneurial journey without bitterness or negativity.
Our Groundwork Brigade is the perfect place to work on building healthy, long-lasting client relationships for your business. And to figure out how to have those tricky conversations when it is time to say goodbye.
It’s a community of entrepreneurs learning how to build a relational business using irresistible marketing strategies, tailored around your individual needs, in a group setting, with lots of accountability and support.
If you missed the conversation between Kim and Kerry on their podcast Buckets and Boom Gates, you can catch it here.
To connect and find out more about Kim or how to create a sexy business for a sexy life, you can reach her and the My Sexy Business Team at 
And to connect with Kerry Zarb go straight to her website and you’ll find her there!