When Is It Time To Break Up with a Client?

How do you know when its time to break up with a client? ☺


As an entrepreneur, this is a difficult question that I have not had to deal with very often until recently.  I was in Los Angeles recently and one of my clients thanked me for being so tenacious.  She said she really appreciated my follow up on a project we were working on.  As a designer who handles the entire process from the first sketch through production with the China factories, it is my job to make sure I keep everything running smoothly and on time.

I offer the same level of communication and follow-up regardless if it's a large chain store or a small online business.  I want everyone to get their orders on time and I want to make sure that I am doing everything to make the process go well.

I recently had a client that placed an order with one of my factories in China. The factory issued a Proforma Invoice for their order.   I followed up to get their logo on the pre-production samples. Without the logo, we cannot make a pre-production sample for their approval.  I asked several times over the next 3 weeks for the logo and the deposit.  Finally, in the last email, the client said that I was harassing them.  Wow.  Harassing? I had to look that up in the dictionary!

ha·rass

  (hə-răs′, hăr′əs)
tr.v. ha·rassedha·rass·ingha·rass·es
1. To subject (another) to hostile or prejudicial remarks or actions; pressure or intimidate.
2. To irritate or torment persistently: His mind was harassed by doubts and misgivings.
3. To make repeated attacks or raids on (an enemy, for example).

That is when I knew it was time to break up.  I have never been told I was harassing a customer in the past 18 years that I have been in the fashion industry.  Never.

Sometimes in life, it's OK to break up.   It is just not the right fit.   Maybe it's a personality thing or maybe it's the Universe telling you to move on.   When I first started in the industry as an independent designer  I was a YES woman. Now I am a YES or NO woman.

Part of being successful in the fashion industry is knowing when it is not the right fit. In the meantime, I will continue to be tenacious.

Ciao for now!

"Sauvage" means Savage in French 




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