Difficult Clients…

For sales and design professionals, everywhere…

On Wednesday, I am going to be speaking at Denver Design District (in the Decorative showroom_decorativematerialsMaterials showroom), and the topic is Dealing with Difficult Clients. As is my Socratic speaking style, I will ask the audience questions related to their experience with difficult clients. Here are a few for those of you who will not be attending:
About the Client…
– Are they really difficult or just difficult for you?
– Did they break agreements that were in place?
– Did they lie or act dishonestly?
– Did they ask you to engage in dishonest or unethical behavior?
About You…
communicate-1– Were you clear in your communication from the outset: Were there boundaries and limits? Expectations?
– Did you set up a format for communicating that had YOU initiating contact, reducing the incoming communications from them?
– Did you say NO and then back down?
– How well did you manage them—their expectations, communications, and the scope of the project as agreed to at the outset?
The newly affluent can be an entitled bunch and are accustomed to getting their own way by tenaciously making demands and expecting them to be fulfilled. Clarity up front and sticking with it is the key. Have a contract/letter of agreement that works for YOU.
And be sure to factor in profitability at the start of the project so that you don’t give anything away that you cannot afford to lose—including your good name, energy, sanity.
And if that doesn’t work, cut your losses as soon as you can, and have a good termination clause in your agreement.
Now, go sell something.

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