The process of breaking up with a client can be hard and involve battling all kinds of emotions. I will be taking you through the 5 stages of the emotional roller coaster you may experience.
Stage 1 – Denial
“Nah it can’t be, we just had lunch with Demola the brand manager and we were brainstorming on how to launch their latest product. Demola would have told me if this was going to happen. I’m sure it’s a rumour or somebody is just having a bad day. Let me fix a meeting, there’s nothing a good meeting can’t solve.” At this stage, we can’t accept it especially when we never “experred it”
Stage 2 – Anger
“They will regret it, who else in this Nigeria can answer briefs in less than 2 hours. So Chinyere is telling me she couldn’t fight for us after we have saved her sorry ass time and time again. The same complexion that got her a job could not keep our own. I’m sure she was in on it, pretending she was not in support. What kind of pot of beans life is this?” This is the point where you’re angry and almost losing every sense of reason.
Stage 3 – Bargaining
“Let’s send a proposal to the client, I’m sure once they see how creative we are they will stay. Talk to their procurement guy about some discounts we have been able to bag them recently. Tell Saheed to give us a month to prove ourselves, we will also have one of our staff stationed in their office so we are constantly at their beck and call.” When you are at this point, be careful not to sell your future out of desperation.
Stage 4 – Depression
“We have to cancel the office renovation we planned, I guess we will be stuck with this sad ambience for the rest of our lives”. I don’t feel well, tell the staff I will be leaving early today. In fact, everyone can leave early today. What’s the point working so hard when they will just leave eventually” The office playlist begins to feature tracks like “When you are gone”, “How am I supposed to live without you”, “Here without you” and every other heartbreak song you can muster. This is the point where reality sets in and you have to think of your next move rather than wallow in the “what ifs?”
Stage 5 – Acceptance
“It’s going to be fine, we win some and we lose some.” You start getting ready for the next client while making sure the current ones are kept happy. You are a fighter, you have survived this long and will continue to survive.