The important thing about ending a relationship is to do it professionally and introspectively. I know that I cannot be the best accountant to every single person on the face of this earth. There are going to be clients that I will not be able to satisfy, and I am ok with that. As long as we walk away respecting each other, than you can be successful in the long run. This allows for relationships to continue for years, even though money is not changing hands.
A few examples:
- I have a referral source who is a realtor. He worked with my father over 20 years ago. When we started meeting as part of our professional group, it was a funny coincidence. He and Alan separated with respect, and that allows us to work together 20 years later.
- A long time client separated from us about 5 years ago because of a fee issue. He thought we ere billing too much. He came back 2 years ago (when I rejoined the firm) because he realize that the work we do for him is actually worth it. If we had not respected his concerns in the past, we would have lost him forever.
- Finally, the story that spurred this post. We volunteer for the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) providing QuickBooks training for their Phoenix chapter. He mentioned that they are working on doing more social networking training, and I said "You should call my friend ..." He had already spoken to her in the past, and she was an integral part of the project. Someone always knows someone that knows you. If you make them mad, your name will be smeared for those other generations.