The Pumpkin Plan: When You Should Fire A Client


I would say that Chapter 4 of the Pumpkin Plan is probably one of the most foundational chapters of this book.

Mike begins the process of teaching us how to ‘fire out bad rotten clients.’ The thought of cutting or firing clients may seem unfathomable, but often it is necessary. For those who have been around me regularly, you will often hear me say, ‘in order to grow you must eliminate.’ Chapter 4 teaches us how to assess our client list; and yes, you will need to fire your rotten clients in order to grow.

More is not better. Better is better.

It is not about getting more clients, it is about getting better clients

You need to shift your mindset away from a quantity game, you need stop killing yourself for scraps! Focus on the clients who, when you love them and others like them, you will make your wildest revenue dreams come true.

We can cluster clients into 3 groups: good clients, nonexistent clients, and bad clients. You are much better having no clients than bad clients; the reason for this is that when you don’t have any clients, you can spend your time prospecting for good ones. Just like bad rotten pumpkins are nutrient deprived and have stunted growth, bad rotten clients likewise will distract you, drain your resources and cost you money.

It is important to identify which clients you will devote “VIP” status to. In trying to figure out which clients deserve VIP status, you can’t just make your assessments based on revenue amounts, and neither can you just go with your gut. What Chapter 4 suggests is that you will need learn how to assess your client list, using the ‘Client Assessment Chart.’ The client assessment chart rates your clients by those that pay fast, are repeat revenue, have revenue potential, and communicate timely. In addition to the revenue, you will also measure your clients against the crucial qualifiers: opportunity, referrals and history.

Most entrepreneurs assume that the clients who bring in the most revenue will serve them best. The problem is that revenue alone does not take into consideration all cost factors you incur, such as, emotional cost, physical toll, etc. Again, the best way to figure out your best clients is to complete your client assessment, measure your clients against your “immutable laws,”—that is, the unbreakable rules you follow that serve as the spine of your business. When you make decisions out of alignment with your immutable laws, you lose money.

So I would suggest that you take 30 minutes to determine your immutable laws and finish your assessment chart. All the best!



Meet me on March 15th for a discussion of the book  'Good to Great'

Pick up a copy of February’s book  'The Goal: A process of Ongoing Improvement