Have you ever faced that heart-sinking moment of losing a client? You’re not alone. Prepare to discover how to navigate the emotional rollercoaster, reassess your business strategy, and emerge stronger.


This episode shares:  

  • Understanding the Impact: Unpack the emotional, financial, and mindset implications of losing a client.
  • Staying Calm and Logical: Learn why keeping a clear head is crucial in crisis.
  • Reflecting on the Cause: Investigate what led to losing the client and how to prevent it in the future.
  • Visioning Forward: Project a successful future and backtrack to the present to build a roadmap.
  • Prioritising Strategic Actions: Identify the first logical steps to rebuild and grow.
  • “I’ll just do more for my other clients” trap: Venture outside of your comfort zone.
  • Embracing the Opportunity: Recognise the newfound time and capacity as a chance to pivot and grow.


Understanding the Impact

When I lost a client, it hit me hard. The emotional turmoil was just the start – feelings of sadness, anger, and self-doubt crept in. Financially, it meant a direct hit to my revenue. I had to face these facts head-on, acknowledging the emotional and financial toll while steering clear of a negative mindset spiral.

Tip:💡List down your feelings and financial changes to confront reality and plan accordingly.


Staying Calm and Logical

In the midst of turmoil, staying calm and logical is key. Frantic efforts won’t magically attract new clients. It’s about staying grounded, making thoughtful decisions, and not letting stress cloud your judgment. This calm approach is the bedrock of effective crisis management.

Tip:💡Cultivating a calm mind aids in making strategic, thoughtful choices.


Reflecting on the Cause

Understanding why the client left is crucial. It’s often a symptom of a deeper issue – perhaps a neglected lead pipeline or a lack of proactive marketing. Reflecting on these root causes offers valuable insights for future strategy.

Tip:💡Conduct a ‘post-mortem’ analysis of the client relationship to identify improvement areas.


Visioning Forward

Imagine a future where client loss is no longer a panic-inducing event. Envision a thriving business with a steady stream of clients. This forward-thinking exercise helps in crafting a practical action plan to make this vision a reality.

Tip:💡 Write a vision statement for your business’s future and work backward to create a roadmap.


Prioritising Strategic Actions

Identifying the first practical steps is essential. It could be enhancing your marketing efforts or refining your sales strategy. Focus on these initial actions to start regaining lost ground.

Tip:💡 Prioritise actions that have the most significant potential to rebuild and grow your business.


“I’ll just do more for my other clients” trap

Do not get stuck in, “I’ll just do more for my other clients”, trap.

Let’s remember, we’ve lost a client, we’re panicked, we’ve still got other clients.

By autopilot, we might just go, “Oh, I’ll just work harder in here. Whether we really need to or not, I’ll just do more. I’ll just do more”. We do this because it’s our safe place. We know what we’re doing. We can execute the way we always have and we don’t have to stretch ourselves. This space is comfortable. It’s also your one-way ticket to going nowhere. We need to venture outside our comfort zone and we need to get uncomfortable, even a little bit.

If you want to prevent this from happening again, if you do want to find that new client, you have to get comfy with trying new things, because if you do the same thing and expect a different result, it’s just not going to happen.

I wish, but it won’t.

Tip:💡 Try one new thing that puts you out of your comfort zone and review the outcome.


Embracing the Opportunity

Losing a client frees up time and capacity. Use this to reassess and realign your business strategy. It’s a unique opportunity to refocus and prioritise the actions that will drive your business forward.

Tip:💡 Use the extra time to explore new markets or develop new services. Document new processes and schedule regular reviews to ensure they remain effective.


And… that’s a wrap!

Losing a client can be a pivotal moment for growth and strategic realignment. By understanding the impact, staying logical, reflecting on the cause, envisioning the future, taking strategic actions, avoiding overwork, embracing the opportunity, and systemising changes, you can turn this challenge into a triumph. Remember, it’s not just about recovering; it’s about building a stronger, more resilient business.



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Follow along with the transcript

E23 You just lost a client, now what? The steps to take to get back on track, fast.

Leanne Woff:[00:00:00] Hello, hello, hello! Welcome to another episode of The Audacious OBM. [00:01:00] I’m your host, Leanne Woff, and today we are talking all things, you’ve just got that call, you’ve just got that email, you’ve lost a client. Doh, doh, doh! These are the steps. That you can take to get back on track fast. So this episode came about after a conversation I was having with somebody, one of my students in OBM Academy, and they’d just gotten an email that out of the blue, they were losing one of their clients.

No wait list, no pipeline. And now they’re down a client and everything that comes with that. Cue panic. We’ve all been there. We all know what that’s like, and we all know how stressful it can be. Especially if it’s unexpected. And this is something I’m actually seeing a lot right now, because some people are pulling [00:02:00] the purse strings tighter.

It’s not as easy to secure a lead as it used to be. People aren’t buying as quickly. So, in their panic state, I started talking to my student, and I said, okay, so let’s look at the things that you can do. The first thing was to review the facts. And I’m talking about the emotional impact.

Okay, so this is stressful. I feel uncomfortable. I feel sad. I feel upset. I feel angry. Whatever it is. This is unexpected. Maybe it was unjust. There’s an emotional impact. The financial impact. Okay, so now I’m down money. That’s the reality. Lose a client, revenue goes down, unless you replace the revenue.

It’s going to have an impact. This is what that impact is. This is [00:03:00] what it’s worth. Mindset impact. Okay, so I’ve lost this client. Is it me? Did I do the wrong thing? Could I have done something differently? Maybe I can’t work with anybody else now. Maybe I’m not good enough. And we go into this spiral. So I want you to analyse all those bits.

And then… I want you to set this aside for a minute. Let’s just park it. You’ll work it out. You always do. And even if, financial impact, you can’t get a new client tomorrow, you will work it out. That doesn’t mean you need to work it out this minute. And it might not look the way you think. It might be, okay, this week I’m going to buy home brand bread instead of brand bread.

You know, there’s all different ways you can do it. Doesn’t necessarily have to be business at the end of the day. You need to make sure [00:04:00] that you can cover all your bases. But we’re going to park that for a sec, because stress and overwhelm is not going to help. Then, once we’ve decided that we’re going to put that over there just for a second, we will get back to it.

We need to get logical. Nothing that you do today or even tomorrow will, bam, get you that new client. It doesn’t matter how stressed you are, how frantic you are, or how many panicked emails and phone calls you send and make, it’s not the way business generally works. You need to remain calm and clear.

It’s the only way you’ll be able to think properly and make better decisions. It’s your only way, so I want you to remember that. Calm and clear. We want to be logical as much as we can, remove the emotion. Number [00:05:00] three, we want to look back. Now, this is where we go, What caused this? Why am I in this position?

Why do I feel this way? Why did I lose the client? Now, the panic behind it, so regardless of whatever the reason is that you lost that client, the panic that you feel Is because you don’t have somebody knocking on your door saying, Oh, I want this spot. I want this spot. Or you wouldn’t be panicking.

So that panic is because you don’t have a lead pipeline. Maybe it’s cause you’ve not really been marketing. Maybe you felt you didn’t really need to. People have always just come to you, or it’s word of mouth. Or you’ve had the same clients for a really long time, and that’s great. So that’s what’s looking back.

What caused this? What marketing have I been doing? What’s my leads like? Where do they usually come from? [00:06:00] Then, I want you to look forward. Now, remembering we’ve parked your current situation to the side. Look forward. Look to a year from now. You don’t have this problem anymore. It’s resolved. It’s done.

You’ve got new inquiries coming in all the time. You’ve got a waitlist of hungry clients waiting till you have a spot. That’s your situation. Now I want you to think about why. Why might that be? What does your business look like at that point? And what’s it doing and what’s it doing well?

So once you’ve looked at that, felt it, thought about it, I want you to make a list. Make a list of all those things, the things that your business might be doing. We’re consistently building our email list. We’ve got a sales strategy. We’re connecting in [00:07:00] conversation with all different people we’re speaking or we’re, proactively asking for referrals.

Whatever it is. I want you to start thinking about what is building that pipeline for your business in a year. Once you’ve got that list of all different things, you then need to think about what’s the first, just one logical step you can take towards that. If you’ve got a list of all the things that your business would be doing to be in that situation, and you know what currently is happening in your business, we want to get here.

So we want to look at that first. That’s your new focus. The panic is not your focus. The find a new client is not your whole, all consuming focus. Your focus is let’s get some systemization, let’s get some new leads in. And this is what’s going to lead us there.[00:08:00] Number six, big warning. Do not get stuck in, I’ll just do more for my other clients, trap.

 Let’s remember, we’ve lost a client, we’re panicked, we’ve still got other clients. And by autopilot, we might just go, Oh, I’ll just work harder in here. Whether we really need to or not, I’ll just do more. I’ll just do more. And we do this because it’s our safe place. We know what we’re doing. We can execute the way we always have.

And we don’t have to stretch ourselves. This space is comfortable. And it’s also your one way ticket to going nowhere. We need to venture out outside our comfort zone. And we need to get uncomfortable, even a little bit. If you want to prevent this from happening again, if you do want to find that new client, you got to get comfy with trying new things, because if you do the [00:09:00] same thing and expect a different result, it’s just not going to happen.

I wish, but it won’t. Number seven, I want you to review the opportunity. So we’ve switched gears a little bit here. We’re no longer running away from the panic and the stress. We’re reviewing the opportunity. We’re looking forward. So I’ve lost a client. What does that mean for my day-to-day? What does that mean for my time?

What does it mean for my schedule? I still have the other client work. I know how much of my time that takes up. I know how much of my time my last client that’s gone took up. So technically… I’ve got more capacity now. I want you to measure it. I want you to actually realize how much time that is because I don’t want you to [00:10:00] unconsciously waste it.

What we want to do is prioritize that time. We want to use it wisely and we want to stay focused on the things we listed above. Let’s get this business back on track and let’s do it fast. You won’t do that if you keep wondering what to do next, what to do next. You’ll do it by doing the actions that you’ve already listed.

Then, the last thing that I want you to do is systemize whatever it is you put in place. What we don’t want is for this to be a start and stop activity. Once the panic has resided, we want to keep doing the things we’ve built in. So, if that is- Okay, I’ve now… got a plan to build my email list or I’ve now got a way to network better, whatever it is that you’ve put in place, create a system around it, because what [00:11:00] the worst thing that you can do is wait till you get a new client and then stop because you’re too busy.

But that’s how we got here in the first place. So if it is, upgrading your lead onboarding process, upgrading your sales calls, making it easier for people to buy from you. When you’re coming up with solutions for these things, think about it from a whole system perspective. What does this look like on a day-to-day?

What does, what needs to be done to keep this going indefinitely? Okay, because then you really won’t be in this position again. Each time you add one of these things to get to that future point of got a lead pipeline, it’s okay. Got a wait list of hungry clients, it’s okay. It’s because you’re doing these things and you’re doing them consistently.

And it doesn’t mean there has to be a whole lot of manual work. It might be manual at the start and then you automate it. Because we always do the [00:12:00] process, try the process, then improve it, automate it. So we want to make this as easy as possible, but still getting the traction that we need. And Before I said to you, we’ll come back to our panic.

Now you can come back to your panic and I want you to create a space where that panic has the time of day where you can step aside and go, this is really stressful, even if it’s talking to a friend, talking to your coach, talking to another OBM, whoever it is, and going, Hey, this happened. And it’s a lot of pressure, let that out, but don’t stay there.

And then also look at other solutions to your problems because just getting a new client might not be the thing that you need. It’s not the thing that’s the quickest to fix, like the quickest way to get more money might be to [00:13:00] cancel your email subscription. That’s going to get you more money than trying to reel, quicker than reeling in a new client.

So there’s different things you can do, so just be open. So I hope that this has helped you. I’m going to leave you with one final note. And that is, this happens to us all. You’re not alone. And the more practical we can be about it, and try not to get bogged down with the emotion, the easier it will be and the faster you will get traction again.

Because you’re staying in business growth mode. And that’s what you want. Bye guys. Have a great week.

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