In a perfect world, every client you work with would be a dream client. In the real world, that isn’t the case. We have tips for how to deal with difficult clients, because there may come a time when you simply don’t want to “fire” them and we understand that.
If you are working with a client who is – shall we say – a challenge, you need to have coping mechanisms for those interactions. You also need to ask yourself, “why am I working with this person?” That is truly one of the first questions to be answered.
How To Deal With Difficult Clients
Think about some of these questions when interacting with your difficult client.
- Are you working with a couple? A partnership or more than two people in the business? What are their underlying issues – is it truly a disagreement about business principles or is it their own personality conflicts that are driving the challenges? You cannot “fix” their personality issues, but you may be able to read the room and determine how to pose your questions and comments to address all concerns without making them butt heads.
- What if you have a client who isn’t angry, but who just can’t make up his or her mind? In this case you feel like you’re running around in circles. Your client decides on Monday to do A but on Tuesday he decides he now wants to focus on B. How do you keep up? Make sure you keep detailed notes. In many cases this type of client will wake up and think that you aren’t doing your job because they aren’t moving forward – in reality it is their indecision that is keeping them stuck.
- They cross boundaries. It is easy when you’re coaching or working with someone to have them think they are now your “best friend” and will take advantage of that imagined relationship. They will call at off hours, or drag out conversations or email and text with questions outside of coaching sessions – they’re getting free help and that isn’t fair to you. You need to set boundaries. You need to set expectations. You need to not answer the calls and remind the client of your contract with her and offer to sell her more time if she feels she needs it.
Until you decide to cut ties with a difficult client, you may need to step back, take a deep breath and start over.
If you need help with clients, with your business growth and with how to run a successful marketing campaign, reach out to Rex Richard.