Regardless of what kind of job you’re working in, whether it be a marketing manager or wholesale distributor, you will have to deal with different types of clients. But, some of them are much more difficult than others. How can you handle each unique type? Follow these tips:
1. Passive Aggressive
Have you ever had a new client that wants you to take the lead with a project? This client may have claimed that their company “is looking for new ideas” or “not sure which direction to go.” Although they may seem like a dream client up front, once you actually begin to work with passive aggressive clients, you’ll discover that they have a lot more to say than you initially thought. Expect these clients to ask for dozens of revisions and completely toss out the majority of your ideas.
Although it may be frustrating, be as patient as possible with passive aggressive clients. When you plan timelines for each project, try to schedule extra time for revisions so you don’t become flustered and rushed for time at the end. If you can spot a passive aggressive client up front, it would be best to work into the contract that excessive revisions will be an extra fee.
2. The Under Valuer
Some clients hire you to do work for them, but then act like everything you do is not impressive. They imply or openly state that they could easily do your job and make comments about how you charge too much for your services. The under valuer will probably ask for quick turnaround times, since they don’t think that anything you do takes more than a few minutes.
To deal with these clients, stay confident and poised. Don’t let the under valuer throw you off your game or make you believe that your work has no value. It’s up to you to show the under valuer just how valuable you really are, so try to be results-oriented in your communications. If you find that the client is continuing to disrespect you, it may be best to let them go.
3. The After Hours Emailer
Some clients are under the impression that you should be working for them 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You may hear that familiar email notification bing go off bright and early on Saturday mornings or just as you’re falling asleep.
To deal with these clients, don’t be afraid to set boundaries. When they send you last minute requests on a Friday afternoon, make it clear that you will not begin to work on it until Monday. Even if you are available on a Saturday and can easily answer an email request, don’t do it until Monday. The second that this type of client knows that you are always checking your email, you have lost all control in the relationship.
4. The Disappearer
Some clients will ignore all of your emails and phone calls for weeks, only to pop up months later and flood your inbox with questions, comments, and requests. Although this client may expect you to get to work immediately to handle all of his or her requests, set strict boundaries. If you have a turnaround time of two weeks for other clients, enforce it for this one, too.
Don’t make any special exceptions for someone who has no respect for the way that you conduct business. Be sure to keep a record of any communications you have with this client in case they claim that you never tried to contact them about a pending project.
So, which clients do you encounter the most? Tell us in the comments below!