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Supervisor Support Critical for Innovative Behaviors


Greg Alder
"Extract from the forthcoming book "The Fine Art of Losing Clients"




Are you a natural at losing clients? You know what? You dont have to be born a loser to become a loser. Anyone can enjoy an enviable (if costly) reputation for losing clients.




How do you lose clients? Easy. In fact, to lose clients you mightn't need to change a single thing about the way you handle their business.


Simply do any of the following and youre guaranteed to lose clients.


  • Tell your client anything you think he wants to hear even when its the opposite of what you know he SHOULD hear.
  • When you make a mistake, don't admit it. Make up a story to cover the mistake.
  • Neglect existing clients in favour of newer clients.
  • Don't make any attempt to understand your clients' beliefs or culture.
  • See your clients as little as possible. Your name on the door is enough to remind them of your existence.
  • Hand your clients' multi-million dollar business to increasingly junior staff. Roll over the staff handling your clients' business as soon as the current staff member really understands that business. Don't worry if none of the people handling your clients can see or understand the big picture. That's the clients' job.
  • Become exactly like your clients. Dress the same. Think the same. Talk the same. That way, clients will feel they are talking to themselves.
  • Let yourself go. Become a fat, lazy and careless company.
  • Make lots of little mistakes. They're not as spectacular as one huge one, but they are often more infuriating. Do not sweat the details.
  • Show a healthy level of contempt for your clients. Be late for meetings. Never apologise for being late.
  • Rehash, recycle, regurgitate. If you give a client something original once, he or she will expect it every time.
  • Don't give clients things they didn't ask for or pay for. Giving them unsolicited gifts or advice smacks of caring too much.
  • Don't make promises.
  • Don't listen to your clients. Make them explain everything at least twice.
  • Make it impossible for a client to judge if he or she is getting good value.
  • Let clients see how your senior people loathe each other. Bad chemistry can lead to some spectacularly explosive situations.
  • Do something dubious. Misuse your clients' budgets and abuse their trust.
  • If all these fail, do something illegal.



Recognise situations that are close to home?



Maybe you read something and thought, Wow, I'm doing that! Or funny, that's what one of MY clients did just last week. If so, then there's a good chance you're well on your way to losing your client.


Want to keep your clients?



Well, obviously, do the opposite of any of the actions described above. Be honest, anticipative, responsive, intuitive, humble, diligent, original and creative!


A warning: Losing clients can be disruptive. Losing clients means losing income and losing income can seriously hinder your lifestyle. According to Harvard Business Review, a 5% increase in client retention can increase profits by nearly 100% and halving losses will more than double a company's growth rate.


You can learn many of the skills needed to keep clients in Proseed workshops.

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…fantastic course, team were fully engaged, energy levels up and new enthusiasm... and even more importantly they were happier... 
not sure if its happy people are productive people or productive 
people are happy, depends on the individual, but you got to start 
somewhere and happy seems like a great start

Henkel Information Technology, Gordon Tredgold, Head of Global Service Delivery (GSD),