Saying Goodbye to Clients

How do you say goodbye to your clients? When they have finished your program, do you give them a send-off—maybe a gift? Do you ask for referrals? 

My last program with a coach was a wonderful learning experience that hugely benefitted me and made me feel very grateful for all the help. But then came the ending of the program.   It was then that my soft good feeling hit on a few hard rocks because, I have to say, the parting felt rough and incomplete…so incomplete that I feel it’s worth sharing with you, if only as an example of what not to do.  After all the effort my coach put in over a year with me, the ending made me not want to recommend her—and I don’t want that to happen to you.

When the program started, I was asked what local stores I would like a gift certificate from–a thoughtful gesture! But, as time went on, I never did receive a gift certificate. Then, on the next to last coaching call of the program, I was again asked this question, and this time the local business actually got a call from my coach, but said that nothing was ever purchased. 

So: Tip #1: Don’t ask a client for gift certificate options, unless you can remember to give them one.

Secondly, it was a 12-month program but in what would have been the 13th month my card was billed again by mistake, and I had to ask for a refund. Plus, since I wasn’t expecting it, I had to scramble to cover the charge.

Tip #2: Be careful to only bill a client for a specific time period. Getting an unexpected bill is not good public relations.

Thirdly, During the last coaching call, my coach told me about working with her further and told me to just let her know if I wanted to or not. I sent her an email telling her how appreciative I was of all the coaching that she had given me over the past year, and that I felt I now knew enough to keep going on my own. But then, I never got a response back from her—not an “OK”, or “well, thanks for hiring me as your coach for the past year,” or even, “Good luck with your business”…zip! I felt like I had been abandoned, and that she was perhaps mad at me for not wanting to continue. It just felt weird.

Tip #3: Always respond to a past client, even if it’s a refusal to continue with you. You should be sending them on their way with joy, and make them feel that you are joyful for their progress.

Fourthly, when I enrolled in the program, there was a cool bonus that I was promised when I completed the program. But at the end, I discovered that I had to pay $40 in shipping to get it. That’s not a bonus. Bonuses are free.

Tip #4: Don’t give a client a bonus that’s something they have to pay for. It just feels like an odd sales pitch.

In conclusion, create a system for ending the client’s time with you in a way that makes them want to stay in touch with you and send you referrals. If a client has enjoyed working with you and has gotten results from your program, they are the best source of new business. And of course, if you haven’t asked them for a testimonial, this is a great time to do so. If you treat them like gold, they’ll be your loyal follower and when you launch a new product they may be the first to purchase it.

You want to wow your clients in the beginning and in the end, since they can be a source of income for many years to come—even if they never buy from you again themselves—by referring their friends and colleagues to you.

In order to set up a system, you need to plan what you will do at the end of each program you have. Will you give them a gift, a discount to another program, a free trial to a continuity program, special promotion in your newsletter…use your imagination. (Or, think about what you would like to see your coach do when YOU end a program.) Decide what your plan will be and use it with every client. And that’s the way to say goodbye to your clients.

Please comment below about how you say goodbye to clients.