During a recent Twitter chat with solo PR practitioners, the subject of recovering from the loss of a client became a hot topic. As the chat progressed, the group serendipitously compiled a list of signs that all, in hindsight, recognized were signs that a client was about to change their mind about the relationship.
Change in Reporting Order
What does this mean? Your contact changes or the client’s team makes changes. Always a sign of a company on the move and maybe your services will be part of that change. Karen D. Swim, a Michigan-based Solo PR practitioner (@karenswim) recommends watching for red flags. Olga Orda, based in Vancouver (@olgaorda) suggested early detection could help prevent a meltdown.
Clogs in the Pipeline
Has the workflow suddenly changed? Extreme acceleration or slowdown may be a sign that the client has other plans.
This is a sad fact for Solo PR practitioners but sometimes it’s the first sign of trouble. Mary Deming Barber (@mdbarber), a seasoned PR practitioner in Anchorage, Alaska, offers a suggestion for lessening the impact of unpaid bills. “Always keep eggs in lots of baskets.” Paula Johns’ advice (@PaulaJohns) includes building a broad base to lessen the impact of a lost client.
The key to surviving a sudden client loss?
Perspective, according to Daria Steigman (@dariasteigman), from Washington DC. She once lost a client during a company sale, but her clients lost their jobs.
Kate Robins (@katerobins), a Connecticut practitioner, believes you should have a magic number of clients. With six clients, you can lose two and still recover. That’s when it’s important to leverage the relationships in your current network.
Are you a solo PR practitioner? Then join the group! Organized by Kellye Crane (@kellyecrane, @solopr), an international group assembles each Wednesday from 1-2 p.m. EST to chat on Twitter, using the hashtag #solopr.
Many thanks to the collective intelligence of the group for making this blog post happen.
What signs have you seen that a client is about to bolt?