How to break up with your provider in 7 steps

Last week, I wrote about how, if you’re in a bad vendor relationship, there’s no time like the present to break up. Well, this week I’m sharing 7 steps to actually breaking up:

1. Keep your distance

It is very advisable to maintain some distance from your provider before you actually break up. This has many advantages. On one side, you will gain some emotional distance, which is important to be able to go through the steps listed below.

On the other side, your provider may sense that something is about to happen and will hopefully prepare themselves.

Just cut off contact for a week before (in some cases you may need to cutoff contact for 30 days before you can move on). Do not give too much information, just say you’re busy.

2. Be sure about your decision

Chances are that you were thinking about leaving for a long time. You have come to the conclusion that you don’t fit together, have different expectations about conferencing or were unable to resolve or get to the bottom of your conflicts. Maybe you have simply realized that you no longer like your provider.

To help you with making the decision, I suggest that you make a list of all the reasons why you want to leave, and write a possible solution beside it. Then go through your list and reflect whether or not you have done everything you could to solve the problems you’ve had.

By knowing the reasons for leaving, you will on one hand be prepared for questions your provider might ask, and on the other hand they may help you to cope with the break up yourself.

3. Do it in writing

Always notify your provider that you are leaving in writing – send a letter or an email.

4. Be prepared

This is anything but easy. You have to be well prepared—you have to know what to say in advance.

You must realize that your provider may be shocked. Even if the break up announced itself a long time ago for you, it will come out of the blue for them. The “no contact” before can soften this.

5. Always be clear that it’s absolutely over

This is the most difficult part: Never, ever let there be any doubt that your partnership is over.

You’ve made your decision. Stick to it whenever you talk to your provider. Never give any hope. The clearer you are, the better and easier it is for the provider in the long run.

6. Give an opportunity for closure

When you leave your provider, that provider often remains in a state of shock for several days. Often they cannot remember what was said, let alone understand the causes or your reasons that led to it. In this case they will seek closure.

By closure I mean a resolving conversation about the reasons for leaving your current provider.

7. Help them with no contact

The “no contact rule” is one of the most important premises for healing from a break up.

But sometimes the urge to call or meet is so strong that many can’t resist.

Do not continue to hold conferences with them. If they call or email you, keep the response short and non-personal. Never call, email or text message first, not even to ask how they’re doing.

ReadyTalk is here to help your through it, read about how we can help you transition from your current provider so that it’s not so painful.

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Leigh Clancy

Leigh Clancy

Leigh Clancy is a Product Marketing Manager at ReadyTalk. In this role she interfaces with product management, marketing, customers and customer-facing teams extensively to help with targeting, messaging, positioning and product launches. Leigh started her career in marketing over fifteen years ago working for high-tech companies such as Harbinger, Verio, Level 3 Communications, iBAHN and Symplified, where she gained valuable knowledge on how to market very complex, technical products and services to a wide variety of audiences. Outside of work you can find her trying to learn to golf, reading, traveling, hosting backyard movies, camping, tasting wine and spending time with family, friends, and her dog.

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