If you are in a business where you provide services to the public, you know that dealing with clients directly can be challenging when you have one that is difficult. While most clients are pleasant and want to do business in a non-confrontational manner, there is always a demanding client that feels that they should have more than what they are being offered. This guide will show you the various strategies that you can use to manage demanding clients.
Understand Your Clients’ Needs
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to handling clients. It is obvious that those who are demanding and difficult to deal with require a more nuanced approach. While it is frustrating to deal with people that are set on being willfully standoffish, it is critical that you stay professional and keep the situation civil and cordial.
Do more listening than talking at the beginning of your consultation. Ask the client what precisely they are looking for and take diligent notes while they explain. As they discuss what they desire from your business relationship, they are giving you the details you will need to make a meaningful connection.
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Manage Client Expectations
Be clear about what you are going to do and what your clients can expect from you and your company. Don’t make the mistake of exaggerating the results that a client should expect—anything that falls short will be seen as a failure to accomplish your objectives.
Demanding clients often like to get others to commit to performing tasks that are beyond the scope of what they are being hired to do. Be clear of what you do and do not do at the onset of your communications. Be diplomatic yet firm about your offerings. Give your client a checklist of the work you will do on their behalf. When you are done with the job, go over the checklist with the client to prove your work was done to the letter.
Streamline the Decision-Making Process
Demanding clients can be increasingly indecisive if they are given too many options. It is common for people to get analysis paralysis when they are given an abundance of choices, and this goes double for demanding clients. Streamline the decision-making process by making it simpler. After finding out exactly what the client is looking for, create an offer or two that addresses their specific needs. Having the process streamlined will eliminate indecision.
Engage with Caution
If you are dealing with an intense and emotional client, you will need to be cautious when engaging with them. If you say the wrong thing, the nature of the conversation can switch on a dime. Keep the conversation focus squarely on the essentials and nothing else. Don’t leave any wiggle room for disagreement. Resist the urge to try to butter up the client—you don’t want to appear to patronize the client. Use the needs expressed by the client to determine the direction of the conversation.
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Offer Cutting-Edge Options and Solutions
One way to satisfy hard-to-please clients is by offering them services that are customized for their project and at the cutting-edge of the practices used within your industry. Be clear with the client that you will be using the latest methods to reach their goals. For instance, account based marketing campaigns can benefit particular campaigns. When your client gets the sense that you are giving them special services, this will give the indication that you are taking their account seriously.
Some professionals keep their clients in the dark about every aspect of what they do. Rather than hold back information about how the general process works and essential knowledge about your process, share enough information that your client will realize that you are a true authority and expert in your field.
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Review Your Agreed Upon Terms and Condition
Never should you or your client be unclear about the terms and conditions that were agreed upon at the initial consultation. As you recap the agreement, get a verbal verification of every element you cover. If they agree on every point, they will have no room to complain about the results of your work.
In business, professionals aim to please their clients; this task becomes more complicated when you have a client that is demanding. The last thing you want to do is take the situation personally. Getting offended could cost your company a contract and potential profits. Keep a cool head and perform your consultation in the fashion described here to please your most challenging clients.