How to Handle the Loss of a Big Client

How to Handle the Loss of a Big Client

So you lost a big client…

Perhaps you saw it coming, or then again maybe you had no clue. Things were going perfectly fine, or then again maybe there were some issues. It doesn’t much matter, because the end result is all the same: you’ve lost a big client.

It’s perfectly normal to feel disappointed, upset, and nervous. But it certainly doesn’t do any good to feel sorry for yourself and allow the situation to get the better of you. Once you get over the shock it’s time to take action.

Here are 6 important steps to take when you lose a big client:

Find out why they decided to no longer do business with you.

Uncovering the reason why a client no longer wants to do business with you means that you have an opportunity to fix whatever might be broken. In some cases, corrective actions could have been taken to keep the business relationship going in the right direction. Ask of them: What caused the defection? Even if you think you know why the client no longer wants to work with your company, it’s important to confirm their reasons and take measures to improve something if needed. The worst situation would be to learn that other clients are experiencing the same thing.

Put your business development into overdrive.

It’s quite possible your big client was responsible for a large percentage of your revenue, which can translate to a real hit to your bottom-line. While it’s never a good idea to have one client represent a large percentage of your billings, what’s done is done and now it is time to move forward and ramp up your business development efforts. Social media, e-marketing, PR and any other initiatives that have been considered and/or planned should begin in earnest.

Cross and upsell your existing clients and dormant accounts.

Fact: it is easier to retain and grow existing accounts as well as reactivate dormant ones than it is to prospect and open brand new business. You have a track record of success with existing and dormant accounts. You’ve proven your value and have an established relationship with them. You should contact these accounts immediately with the objective of uncovering or reactivating new business.

Network, network, network!

This is the time to jump in and expand your networking connections. Remember that your networking contacts can be your unofficial sales force. They can alert you about potential business opportunities, make substantive introductions, and help to jumpstart sales.

Ask for (and give) referrals.

There’s never been a better time than now to ask for referrals. Your existing clients can refer you to their business contacts that require your services and provide a compelling testimonial that can shortcut the sales process and allow revenue producing work to start much sooner.

Develop special offers and quick fixes to bring in business.

Sometimes desperate situations call for desperate measures and that includes creating some special offers or discounts to help drive much needed business. The goal is to fill the revenue gap as quickly as possible. A special promotion might be just the incentive that your prospects need to pull the trigger and say “yes” to your business offer.


Remember to remain confident and focused. You’ll get through this rough patch and take away some valuable lessons too, such as putting all of your eggs into one basket and landing most of your revenue from one client.

Clients can be lost for myriad reasons, many of which have absolutely nothing to do with you. The unfortunate situation may have been out of your control but one thing is for certain, you want to avoid this occurrence again!

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