“Always say yes to the client,” the number one rule of client management. But when does that become detrimental to the business you’re building? Sometimes it’s necessary to say no to working with difficult clients. Here are four types of bad clients to avoid.
Time Wasters & Energy Zappers
Time and energy are crucial parts to building your company. If you think a potential client will waste these two precious assets, it’s okay to say no to working with them. Time is money, and your business depends on financial success. You can’t reach that level of success if your time and energy are wasted on clients who are always changing their minds and not knowing what they want. You’re allotted only so many hours in a day; it’s okay to choose not to spend it on clients who are obnoxious, uncommunicative, and just downright uncooperative.
Fee Hagglers & Late Payers
Everyone loves a good discount, but if a client is always asking for a lower fee, they’re not truly valuing the services you’re providing. You have a business to run, and no one wants to work for free. Having steady cash-flow is the only way to move your business forward. If clients are requesting fees lower than what it costs to work, you’re losing money. You also lose money when a client is consistently paying late. If your obligations to the client are met, you should expect the same from the client in return, which is a proper payment for the work done and paid promptly.
It’s understandable to want to shop around for the best deal in town; however, if a potential client is dragging their feet about committing to you, this could be a red flag. This type of indecisive behavior can have a repeating pattern. You don’t want to feel like you’re always having the same fight with this client about wanting them to commit.
Criticizers & Complainers
Negative clients have the power to spread their negativity to your team. No matter what is done to please these types of clients, they will never be satisfied. You’ll begin to notice a pattern of negative feedback about your work that is in no way valid. It’s difficult to move forward when nothing you do makes the client happy.
Fortunately, there are great clients out there that will make work easy and sometimes even fun! Know the signs of a bad client. And, remember, in order to have room on your workload for great clients, learn that it is okay to say no to difficult clients.