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Guest article by Barbara J. Bruno, CPC, CTS, CEO of Good as Gold Training, Inc.

You are not paid on efforts, you are paid on results.  Learn to identify the signs that reveal you are in a one-sided relationship.  You can’t afford to spend your valuable time on clients who do not positively impact your income.

When to Walk Away From an Existing Client
The clients you select to represent can make or break your success.  When you work with candidates it is often a one-time experience.  Interaction with clients should be a long-term relationship with multiple contacts over time.

If you have a negative client you must determine if you can deal with their negativity without it impacting you or your sales with this client.  Learn to manage negativity and channel it into conscious results-oriented action.

  • Review the total dollar value of the relationship. Review how much business you conduct with this client annually.  Then determine what percentage of your total production and income is derived from this client.  You may need to continue working with this client, until you land additional business to replace your lost production.
  • Review how much time you dedicate to this client vs. return. If a client is consuming 50% of your time, but only represents 15% of your production, you may need to walk away.  Often, negative clients are the ones who try to monopolize your time and energy. 
  • Determine the ROI of your time and energy. Focus your time where you experience the greatest return on your investment of time and energy.  It’s not easy to replace a long-term relationship, but often it is in your best interest to do just that.

Where You Should Focus
It is important that you represent clients that are the desired companies of candidates in your niche.  Conduct revenue modeling to determine if these prospective clients also represent your best business.

People work with people they like, so it is more important for clients to like you vs. you liking them.  If you don’t like a prospect that does not mean you walk away if they can positively impact your income.

Clients should value the importance of the following:

  • Hiring authority is willing to provide you with details
  • You have a clear understanding of the opportunity
  • There is a sense of urgency
  • You understand the problem that exists and can offer solutions like direct hire, contract-to-hire, and contract placements
  • Interview process is reasonable
  • Client communicates
  • Salary/pay rate is commensurate with the experience required
  • You have established rapport with your client

It is important to continue to upgrade the clients you represent.  Your best client this year could be someone you have not yet called.  Follow the advice in this session and you will know when to walk away – and when to run.

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