Every agency or consultant knows what it’s like to work with problem clients.
Sometimes people reveal their negative sides right away, while other times they wait until after you’ve been committed to them for six months. No matter how you look at it, the business can be stressful and make you wonder if it’s worth all the trouble.
The following text is about how to deal with problem clients. Just because everyone has to deal with problem clients at some point doesn’t mean you need to just “deal with it.” You deserve to enjoy your work, to open your inbox without fear, to put out your best and know it’s appreciated.
A few small changes in how you operate your business can make this happen. We’ve gathered together some of the best and brightest DM Certified Partners to bring you this collection today. Here are a few tips for working with problem clients.
You Don’t NEED to Work with Problem Clients
The first thing you need to understand is that you do not need to work with clients who are not interested in your services. It doesn’t matter how much money you feel you need or how “underqualified” you think you are.
Clients who stir up trouble and make you hate your job will always do your business more harm than good. You’re better off without them. You should be able to reject someone if they are not a good person.
Although every agency will have a few troublesome clients, it’s not atypical to go through a period where it feels like you’re only getting problem clients. There are a few things you can do to prevent clients from making your job difficult or causing you to lose sales.
We learned a lot of useful tips from Steven Werley. The key to avoiding unwanted commitments is to establish checkpoints and make sure the initial commitments are small. That way, you won’t find yourself in a situation where you’re unable to fulfill a contract. And it all starts with a single phone call.
Always Have an Introduction Call
The best way to avoid having problem clients is to screen them before taking them on. The best way to filter your potential clients is to have an introductory call with them, also known as a qualification or discovery call.
A potential client’s first point of contact with you is an introduction call, which is also the easiest opportunity to dissuade clients who are not a good match for you. This way, you can avoid wasting time in long meetings and consulting sessions with your clients. You’ve just had a phone or video call that lasted a few minutes.
The best way to find success in these calls is to have a list of factors that will cause you to end the call handy. This method provides support for your decisions and also gives the customer clarity on why certain things are not right for them.
The factors that would disqualify a candidate for a job vary depending on the business and the person’s preferences.
You should only work with clients who are looking for help with strategy if that is what you want to do. Clients who want bespoke or done-for-you services should be filtered out. If you only offer one service, like media buying, you should turn away clients who are looking for other services like web design or content creation.
Remember that you don’t need to do everything. If you put yourself in a difficult situation by trying to provide services that you don’t like or that you’re not good at, you and the client will start to dislike the arrangement and problems will develop.
It’s important to be honest with yourself and your clients about what you can offer, and to have a list of “red flags” in your introduction call. If you do these things, the relationship will be set up for success from the first contact.
Effective Strategies For Dealing With Difficult Clients
Instill confidence in clients by optimizing your work process
You need to make each client feel valued in order to make them feel special. You can improve your working relationships with clients by following a process that involves educating them at the beginning of the relationship, setting clear expectations, and keeping them updated.
Train your team to be better at handling tough clients
One way to help our team members learn to work better with difficult clients is to give them an opportunity to actually be the client.
Make it a part of your business to stay up to date with the latest design and technology innovations. Let a team member experience what it’s like to be the client by working with a project team from start to finish.
Taking this approach comes with several advantages. Your teammates will get the chance to be creative, explore new technologies, and most importantly, develop the empathy of seeing production with your team from the perspective of a client.
So you know what to do, right?
Find out what’s wrong internally
If you want to solve a problem, you need to go to its root. The root of the problem here is mismanaged expectations, pricing differences, unclear project scope, and so on.
The top three reasons for disagreements between agencies and clients are the results of campaigns delivered, prices, and the quality of campaigns delivered.
Other reasons that can cause problems between an agency and its client include not having the same values, being dishonest, and not following the schedule.
When you have a difficult client, it is helpful to look at what is happening internally to see what the problem is. It comes from committing to the client, problem-solving, and staying close to the client so that we meet or exceed expectations.
Listen to what the client wants
There is a possibility that you will not pay as much attention to a client if you have too many clients.
Sometimes, clients start being difficult because they feel like they’re not being heard. Make sure to listen to their problems without getting defensive, as this could be all that is needed to understand the issue. Then, try to deliver an immediate reply in an email and sometimes a call to assure your clients that the agency is there to help them. This will help to show that you are reliable and can be counted on.
All this is, essentially, a three-step process that you can adopt too:
- Actively listen to your client’s problem without being defensive
- Proactively respond with either a solution or an assurance that you’re here to sort the concern
- Study what happened. Understand possible reasons behind it and take steps to avoid similar future issues
There are two ways to be successful when using this client handling tactic. First, always stay calm. And, second, review and learn from every problematic client. As Bill Gates said, the people who are the most unhappy with your product or service are the people who can teach you the most about how to improve it.
Set clear expectations
If you think a client could be difficult, it’s best to address the issue at the beginning and set clear expectations. You should not take on anything that has serious warning signs.
First, set expectations by agreeing on what results are expected and which KPIs to monitor. issue = problem It is best to resolve issues before they turn into bigger problems. To this end, meeting with your client helps.
Develop a transparent process
This allows clients to see how their work is progressing and how the agency is handling it.
Be honest about how you work and what you hope to achieve. Always base your communication with difficult clients on facts. Figures don’t lie. Figures don’t have emotions.
Correct your temperament
Here’s their 4-step process:
- First, remain calm. Two angry or upset people are worse than one.
- The second is to be understanding and use a soft tone of voice (this helps keep people from getting very angry because you aren’t matching their energy).
- Third, apologize regardless of who is wrong in the situation, it’s easy to apologize and take the blame. Once the customer understands they aren’t wrong, even if they might have been, it now allows you to move forward with a solution.
- Fourth, make it right. Do what you can to make the situation right, and if your company did mess up, it’s easy to send someone an edible arrangement or buy them lunch on doordash. It makes a world of difference to the customer.
Doing things that go beyond customer expectations can make them into huge fans of your business, and remove their desire to say negative things about it to others.
Actionable takeaway: Never get angry. If you need to calm down, take some time for yourself. This calm energy can be used to understand the issue, apologize, and solve it. If you make a mistake, go above and beyond to fix it.
Cultivate a strong work relationship and proactively take steps to avoid conflict
Here are five ways to avoid conflict before it happens:
- Accept feedback gracefully. If there’s something wrong or if someone wants to change, don’t try to defend yourself or repeat yourself over and over again until they are satisfied.
- Stay calm at all times. Clients love passion, but not anger! Show them that you believe in your work by staying calm during discussions, even when things get heated.
- Focus on the big picture. If your relationship is more important than any single marketing tactic, don’t fall into the trap of letting one or two unhappy clients drive you off course.
- Take responsibility for your work. It’s up to you to prove that your marketing delivers results. So focus on value rather than beating people over the head with data and metrics. And remember that just because something isn’t broken doesn’t mean it can’t be improved!
- Learn from every experience. Feedback is extremely valuable, so make sure you receive it openly and give yourself time to absorb what the client is saying. Then use their feedback to improve future campaigns before moving on without resentment!
Offer them their money back
Despite taking the necessary precautions, some clients will not be a compatible match. If you cannot provide what the client wants, it is best to give them their money back.
If the client is not satisfied with the strategy session, Steven Werley offers a full refund. He is willing to give up a few hours of his time to make sure the client is happy, rather than spend days or weeks trying to force the client to be happy. This is a big reason why you should start small. It is less time wasted and less money lost if it does not work out.
Even problem clients usually won’t take you up on your offer to refund their money if they’re unsatisfied with your work. This offer signals that you care about what is best for the other person. Clients may see this as an opportunity to renegotiate the contract or change the original plan.
This offer may improve the expectations of the relationship or rid you of a problem client before they become a bigger issue. Offering a refund may give you the opportunity to take on a client who is a better fit. And you’ll be able to make up the money.
You will have to deal with problem clients no matter what you specialize in. With these strategies, you will have a much higher chance of getting rid of bad habits before they get really bad.
If you provide a lot of value to your clients, they will be more likely to ask for more services from you, and you will be happier doing your job. And that’s the best thing you could ask for.
THE PROBLEM: YOUR BUSINESS ISN’T GROWING AS FAST AS IT SHOULD!
Your sales have stagnated or decreased, and you cannot figure out why. Discover what is holding you back from achieving predictable sales growth in your business.
If you want to grow your business, you need a proven plan and framework. That is what you get with the 2X Your Sales Discovery Session.
Want to learn about a formula for Predictable Growth that will put your business on a 90-day path to 2X Your Sales?