During April only, save 30% on our new course, Cold Emails that Convert. Click here to learn more.
Offer expires in

5 Clients you should fire immediately

tweet share share pin email

Firing your client seems almost unheard of. After all, isn’t the backbone of any thriving business a large customer base?

You may think so, but some clients aren’t worth your time. By devoting your time to clients that you find insufferable, you’re taking away time from valued customers who have always been glad to spend with you – and time is money!

It may be time to re-evaluate some unrealistic customer service standards and show a few clients the door.

You'll also enjoy this episode of our new podcast...

1. Verbally abusive clients

Whether you’re a freelancer with no one to answer to or an entrepreneur with a modest staff, nobody deserves to be on the receiving end of verbal abuse.

These customers raise their voices, use profane language, and go out of their way to make you upset. No one should have to deal with a customer who seems to obtain his or her greatest pleasure in the world from being abusive to others.

2. Non-paying clients

This may seem obvious, but dig a little deeper.

💵 Turn complete strangers into paying clients using our new easy-to-follow workbook course, Cold Emails that Convert. Disover the framework we use to book thousands in new clients each month. Save 30% in April only with promo code MILLO30. Click here to learn more.

Of course someone cannot be a client if they don’t pay. Review your invoices. Who is consistently late, partially pays, or wrongly asserts they shouldn’t have to pay, or should have to pay less than what they were billed?

You don’t have tons of people working for you, and you can’t afford to be wasting productive time trying to chase a payment. If you can’t find a payment system with terms that will work for this customer, it’s time to stop doing business with them.

3. Clients who try to intimidate you

As a freelancer, you’re only one human being. You’re not omnipotent, and you don’t have the resources that larger firms have.

You work with what you’ve got, and all you have to do is work it well. If you haven’t already done so, you may encounter clients who try to hold you to the same standards as a larger company, threatening to drop you if you can’t compete with their rates.

This isn’t feasible. Don’t drive the value of your work into the ground just because a client tries to bully you.

More on Millo: How to fire a client without looking like a jerk

4. Arrogant customers

These clients think your entire work schedule revolves around their immediate needs.

They may think they’re entitled to have their work completed sooner than everyone else, and drive you crazy with revisions that they feel entitled to.

You’re nobody’s personal taskrabbit – you work with a multitude of clients of equal importance. Unless this customer wants to pay you a yearly salary for exclusive services, get rid of them. They’re jeopardizing your existing relationships by demanding your attention.

5. Any customer who drives you into debt

These are the kind of customers who sample every flavour at the ice cream parlour. They won’t buy a high priced item unless it comes with tons of free gifts.

They want all of these demonstrations and mockups from you, and they aren’t paying for a thing. You’re being strung along. When they finally do make a purchase, the dollar amount doesn’t justify all the work you put in to win them over.

Set strict limits when it comes to sample or demo work, and fire anyone who’s milking you for all you are worth.

You aren’t an international corporation, and it’s unrealistic of any client to treat you like one. It’s an unfortunate reality that they will often come to you, the small guy, and expect some kind of deal or special treatment. If it’s not financially worth your while – say no.

The world is full of potential clients, and they’re not that hard to find!

So let’s hear it then? Do the above examples of clients seem familiar to you? How have you dealt with similar clients in your business? I would love to know your thoughts in the comments below!

tweet share share pin email

Say Goodbye to Roller Coaster Income

Your income doesn't have to be a guessing game every month. Let 4 thriving solopreneurs show you how in our free guide.

About Mary Frenson

Mary Frenson is a Marketing Assistant at Checkdirector.co.uk, a new source of information on UK companies. Mary is always happy to share her marketing ideas and thoughts on business issues. In her free time she enjoys handicrafts.

Leave a Comment



  1. Thanks for sharing your tips with us. I already met most of these in the past few years.

  2. Right on the money AND very useful. We’ve all encountered one or more of these clients. REALLY not worth the trouble. Sooner or later, many of them find themselves complaining that nobody wants to work for them… Sigh…

  3. This is a great article Mary! Some of these sound familiar.

  4. Our market in the mid-southeast is full of these personalities. In this business of freelance services, it’s helpful “to educate” your prospective clients in how work progresses, with a friendly discussion of ground rules. Respect is mutual and earned. You will notice through this any “red flags” and can politely suggest a trial run or “thanks but no thanks” and leave things friendly. Over time, new professionals usually develop intuition about properly interpreting these conversations. Sending a meeting recap puts things in perspective – and in writing – to accomplish clarity, moving forward.

  5. Keith Osiro says:

    I LOVE your articles.
    Thanks for the advice. It’s really helpful…


Need more clients?

Download our free guide:
25 Top Freelance Job Sites for Real Clients with Big Budgets