Communication is key to a successful business. Whether you are a freelancer, small business owner, or work at a big agency, we’ve all had to work with clients at some point. Some are great, hands-off clients that know exactly what they want and how to communicate it. Others, however, are the total opposite.
Knowing the warning signs of a potential toxic client is key to staying productive and getting things done. Here are the eight most common employees you never want to work with.
The Design Expert
They think they have an eye for design and that their suggestions are vast improvements.
They’ll change their mind and contradict themselves every other sentence.
The Confused Commander
They hired you for something they don’t understand, but still want to tell you how to do your job.
They dump work on you and then disappear, leaving you with no direction or feedback.
The Client Who Cries Wolf
To them, everything is an emergency. You get multiple “urgent” emails from them a day.
The Feedback Failure
In their mind, their feedback is clear as day. In yours, it’s general and open to interpretation.
The Penny-Pinching Visionary
Their budget is tiny, but their expectations are huge.
Since they work round the clock, they expect you to as well. They want an answer promptly…24/7.
Though appeasing these kinds of people can be frustrating and borderline impossible, here are some tips on what you can do when you have to deal with a difficult client:
- Give them a clear timeline and deliverables. Let your client know exactly what you’ll be doing for them, how much time it will take, and what they can expect the end result to be in writing. If they had new asks midway, revisit the timeline and scope of the project.
- Track your time. If you know your client is skeptical of how long you say things take, track time for each part of a project and be ready to send the client a summary if they mention a task was “easy” and shouldn’t take so long. Though they may not trust you tracked your time correctly, it gives them (and you) a baseline to go off of for similar types of projects.
- Stay calm. This seems obvious, but it is important to remain calm and positive. If you get angry it will only further agitate the situation.
- Set realistic expectations. Don’t promise that you’ll do something you’re not sure if you can. It’s better to under promise and over deliver than than vice versa.
Post by Reuben Yonatan
Reuben Yonatan is the founder and CEO of GetCRM. As an entrepreneur and tech enthusiast, Reuben brings a wealth of hands-on telecom and cloud computing experience, backed by a 10-year track record in strategically shaping operational functionality in all his ventures.