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MSP Minute
June 10, 2021

Difficult MSP Clients: Is It Finally Time to Let Them Go?

Denes Purnhauser

Is salvaging a struggling relationship really worth your effort, or is it time to fire difficult clients? To help get client relationships on the right track, today’s MSP Minute dives into how Partners can have crucial conversations to overcome client challenges while ensuring their MSP’s growth.

Difficult MSP Clients: Is It Finally Time to Let Them Go?

Most of your clients love working with you. They appreciate your business and they appreciate the value that you bring to the table, but some of them just don't get it. They nickel-and-dime you, and are miserable to work with. They don't follow your processes or they don't adopt your standards. Clients like these make it hard to scale an MSP.

While MSPs may resort to firing clients like these, it doesn’t really get to the root of the problem. Alternatively, some MSPs will just try to wait it out but that’s going to result in a long-term lose-lose situation as well. The ultimate solution is to have a crucial conversation with your client at a time when you don’t have a current issue with them. 

Here’s how you’ll want to approach this situation.

  1. Set up a meeting with the executives to address how you don’t want to be in this situation three months from now. This way you’re acknowledging the lose-lose situation going on but are stating that you won’t tolerate it if you can’t solve it together.

  2. Collect your evidence in advance to explore with them why you feel like this will lead to a lose-lose situation from their perspective and your perspective. Don't just say that it's not profitable or that they don’t appreciate your business.

    Instead, say that you don’t have enough resources to be able to smoothly help their business or something similar that will address how this problem will lead to a capacity issue where you won’t be able to do what you’re supposed to.

  3. List all these issues with them and listen. Many times, if you openly state these issues with them, they’re going to be open to it. Then you’ll be able to see whether or not they want to solve these problems with you. If so, be sure to have an action plan and set a deadline that you’ll stick to.

There are many benefits to this approach. First of all, it just feels good. Second, your team is going to feel good because you are behind them. Third, you're going to have amazing clients and a process that leads to good clients. And that all helps to scale your MSP!