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5 Cut n’ Paste Scripts for Dealing with Awkward Business Situations

5 Cut n’ Paste Scripts for Dealing with Awkward Business Situations

Have you ever found yourself wondering what to do when a client disappears mid-project or stops paying your invoices?

Self-employment can be fulfilling and lots of fun for sure, but it’s also a bit of a minefield, especially when you’re starting out.

Here are five scripts to help you navigate your way through some common awkward business situations without losing friends, money or your sanity.

1. A potential client you want to work with goes dark on you

Do you:

a)    Email to say you’re just following up and could they please let you know a.s.a.p.

b)    Email to say you’re following up on your previous follow up.

c)     Say you’re all booked up and they missed out. Too bad.

Or d) Email them and say:

Hi {potential client}

I understand you probably haven’t gotten around to thinking about our phone conversation just yet. But I wanted to check in and see if maybe you’re leaning towards a yay or a nay? No pressure either way.

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I would love to work with you and I’m really hoping we can tee up our calendars to make this happen. I believe that together, we can rock this event/launch/project. But if it doesn’t happen, I’m behind you one hundred per cent and wish you all the best.

Respectfully yours,

2. A friend, acquaintance or client has added you to their email list without your consent.

Do you:

a) Unsubscribe immediately. How dare they?

b) File them as junk. They deserve it.

c) Stay subscribed–you don’t want to offend them.

Or d) Unsubscribe (your time and your inbox is sacred), but also send them a nice note along these lines:

Hi there,

Thank you for sending me your newsletter. I loved what you wrote about {insert topic}. Unfortunately I did have to unsubscribe due to the pressure my inbox is under these days. You can rest assured it’s not a reflection of the amazing work you’re doing.

I look forward to catching with what you’re up to on {your blog/Twitter/Facebook}.

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Your friend,

3. A long-standing client is not paying your invoices on time.

Do you:

a) Threaten them with legal action. The nerve.

b) Keep following up with them. Surely they will crack and pay eventually.

c) Let them pay you on their schedule. You’re grateful for the work.

Or d) Email them and say:

Dear client,

You know I LOVE working with you guys and I want our relationship to continue.

However we do need to have a chat about our invoice situation. My contract stipulates payment within 30 days, and as you may or may not be aware, the last couple of payments took more than 90.

I know you have priorities when it comes to your cash flow and as a small business owner I can totally sympathize. But I also have a mortgage to pay and several humans to feed. And my bank manager won’t listen to my 90 day invoice story (believe me I’ve tried!).

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Do call me if we need to chat about this.

I remain your friend and colleague,

4. You have a hot lead, but he balks at paying your fee at the last minute. You really want to work with him.

Do you:

a) Offer them a one-time only discount.

b) Say your fees are negotiable.

c) Tell them your fees are set in stone and they can get over it if they don’t like ‘em.

Or d) Suggest a compromise

Dear {potential client},

You know I’d love to come on board and help with this project. I have so many great ideas and I’m chomping at the bit to get started. I understand where you’re coming from about my fees. We all have budgets. But I work hard to make sure my clients get the results they want, which is why my fees are set at that level.

So how about we reconfigure the schedule of work until we get closer to your budget? Perhaps there is some way, for example, you could have {name task} taken care of in-house?

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I’ll wait to hear from you.

Best,

5. You’ve signed up a new client. But they’ve started making unreasonable demands on your time. They’ve already phoned you five times and it’s Saturday, for heaven’s sake.

Do you:

a) Tell them to go jump in a lake and stop bothering you.

b) Ignore the calls. They can call on Monday if they really want to talk to you.

c) Agree to everything they want. The customer is always right.

Or d) appeal to their higher sensibilities and say:

I know you’re really enthusiastic about this project (me too by the way). But Saturday is the only day I get to spend with my family. So we’re going to have to pick this up again on Monday.

I know that as a family man/woman yourself, you’ll understand. Besides, my wife/husband/significant other will kill me if I don’t stop working weekends all the time!

Let me know in the comments if these templates work for you!

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Last Updated on March 29, 2021

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

When I left university I took a job immediately, I had been lucky as I had spent a year earning almost nothing as an intern so I was offered a role. On my first day I found that I had not been allocated a desk, there was no one to greet me so I was left for some hours ignored. I happened to snipe about this to another employee at the coffee machine two things happened. The first was that the person I had complained to was my new manager’s wife, and the second was, in his own words, ‘that he would come down on me like a ton of bricks if I crossed him…’

What a great start to a job! I had moved to a new city, and had been at work for less than a morning when I had my first run in with the first style of bad manager. I didn’t stay long enough to find out what Mr Agressive would do next. Bad managers are a major issue. Research from Approved Index shows that more than four in ten employees (42%) state that they have previously quit a job because of a bad manager.

The Dream Type Of Manager

My best manager was a total opposite. A man who had been the head of the UK tax system and was working his retirement running a company I was a very junior and green employee for. I made a stupid mistake, one which cost a lot of time and money and I felt I was going to be sacked without doubt.

I was nervous, beating myself up about what I had done, what would happen. At the end of the day I was called to his office, he had made me wait and I had spent that day talking to other employees, trying to understand where I had gone wrong. It had been a simple mistyped line of code which sent a massive print job out totally wrong. I learn how I should have done it and I fretted.

My boss asked me to step into his office, he asked me to sit down. “Do you know what you did?” I babbled, yes, I had been stupid, I had not double-checked or asked for advice when I was doing something I had not really understood. It was totally my fault. He paused. “Will you do that again?” Of course I told him I would not, I would always double check, ask for help and not try to be so clever when I was not!

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“Okay…”

That was it. I paused and asked, should I clear my desk. He smiled. “You have learnt a valuable lesson, I can be sure that you will never make a mistake like that again. Why would I want to get rid of an employee who knows that?”

I stayed with that company for many years, the way I was treated was a real object lesson in good management. Sadly, far too many poor managers exist out there.

The Complete Catalogue of Bad Managers

The Bully

My first boss fitted into the classic bully class. This is so often the ‘old school’ management by power style. I encountered this style again in the retail sector where one manager felt the only way to get the best from staff was to bawl and yell.

However, like so many bullies you will often find that this can be someone who either knows no better or is under stress and they are themselves running scared of the situation they have found themselves in.

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The Invisible Boss

This can either present itself as management from afar (usually the golf course or ‘important meetings) or just a boss who is too busy being important to deal with their staff.

It can feel refreshing as you will often have almost total freedom with your manager taking little or no interest in your activities, however you will soon find that you also lack the support that a good manager will provide. Without direction you may feel you are doing well just to find that you are not delivering against expectations you were not told about and suddenly it is all your fault.

The Micro Manager

The frustration of having a manager who feels the need to be involved in everything you do. The polar opposite to the Invisible Boss you will feel that there is no trust in your work as they will want to meddle in everything you do.

Dealing with the micro-manager can be difficult. Often their management style comes from their own insecurity. You can try confronting them, tell them that you can do your job however in many cases this will not succeed and can in fact make things worse.

The Over Promoted Boss

The Over promoted boss categorises someone who has no idea. They have found themselves in a management position through service, family or some corporate mystery. They are people who are not only highly unqualified to be managers they will generally be unable to do even your job.

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You can find yourself persistently frustrated by the situation you are in, however it can seem impossible to get out without handing over your resignation.

The Credit Stealer

The credit stealer is the boss who will never publically acknowledge the work you do. You will put in the extra hours working on a project and you know that, in the ‘big meeting’ it will be your credit stealing boss who will take all of the credit!

Again it is demoralising, you see all of the credit for your labour being stolen and this can often lead to good employees looking for new careers.

3 Essential Ways to Work (Cope) with Bad Managers

Whatever type of bad boss you have there are certain things that you can do to ensure that you get the recognition and protection you require to not only remain sane but to also build your career.

1. Keep evidence

Whether it is incidents with the bully or examples of projects you have completed with the credit stealer you will always be well served to keep notes and supporting evidence for projects you are working on.

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Buy your own notebook and ensure that you are always making notes, it becomes a habit and a very useful one as you have a constant reminder as well as somewhere to explore ideas.

Importantly, if you do have to go to HR or stand-up for yourself you will have clear records! Also, don’t always trust that corporate servers or emails will always be available or not tampered with. Keep your own content.

2. Hold regular meetings

Ensure that you make time for regular meetings with your boss. This is especially useful for the over-promoted or the invisible boss to allow you to ‘manage upwards’. Take charge where you can to set your objectives and use these meetings to set clear objectives and document the status of your work.

3. Stand your ground, but be ready to jump…

Remember that you don’t have to put up with poor management. If you have issues you should face them with your boss, maybe they do not know that they are coming across in a bad way.

However, be ready to recognise if the situation is not going to change. If that is the case, keep your head down and get working on polishing your CV! If it isn’t working, there will be something better out there for you!

Good luck!

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