It's OK to fire a prospect, client or a networking referral partner -- just make sure do it correctly. You never know what the future has in store for you and the other party. You may encounter them again so make sure you can greet with them with a confident smile.
- Nurture, nurture, nurture. Remember, no one likes feeling rejected. It's important to be kind and empathetic. Don't disengage in an email. Have more couth, courage and business-smarts than to email a "Dear John" letter.
- Get the other person to disengage. If it's not working out, you owe it to the other person and yourself to decide together. Have the courage to bring up your objections and allow the other person the chance to fix the issues or decide to withdraw. Whether or not your mind is made up and there's little chance to move forward, put your ego in the passenger seat and allow the other person to participate. This approach is actually easier and less risky than the quick and easy, take-flight alternative and will diffuse potentially dangerous confusion or resentment.
- Always leave the door open. People change. Situations change. Impressions change. Relationships change. Insensitive or brisk break-ups burn bridges. So sketch a possible future with your personally delivered final words. You never know, the future with that person may surprise you.