5 types of clients and how to deal with them

Ash Baggott

Let’s start by saying, you love your clients. I repeat, you love your clients.

For the most part, you have solid relationships with your clients, open communication and clearly defined expectations. However, every firm has different type of clients that take up a lot of your time, frustrates the staff, or makes unreasonable demands. Below you can find five types of clients and how you can deal with them.

  1. The “I’m not really sure what I want” client

This type of client will constantly change their mind. They’ll usually reply with “I don’t know” to most questions and although it can be frustrating, they have no idea what they want. Work with them and together you can find the best solution.

How to recognise: They will say one thing on a call but they’ll have a completely different opinion in an email an hour later.

How to deal: Get everything in writing. Once an approach has been decided upon, reject any major course-correcting.

  1. The “How much is it!?” client

Whether you refer to it as ‘penny-pinching’, ‘bean counting’ or another way to say that this client is extremely concerned about the budget, it’s important to understand that price transparency is key for this client.

How to recognise: Your rates are fair and justify the product you’re selling. However, they will continue to ask for discounts.

How to deal: Transparency. Think twice before reducing your rates if your client reacts poorly. Create a cost-breakdown and prove that they’re not being over charged and make it easy for your client to see where you’re coming from.

  1. The “I assumed it was included” client

This client will insist on getting a little bit more out of your team each time you talk, there frequent requests expand the scope and length of the project. It’s a frustrating process, and unless your careful, it can throw your entire week completely off.

How to recognise: You deliver the project on time, and it’s great. As soon as the client sees it, they want to add something you hadn’t originally packaged into the deal.

How to deal: Set strict boundaries around your add-on policy. Make sure your policy is your go-to process, don’t wind up grasping for another solution when confronted by the client.

  1. The “That’s not what I wanted” client

You know the one, the client that doesn’t really know what they want, but they certainly know what they don’t want, and it’s probably everything your proposing. While many clients understand that good communication is key to a job well-done, some simply aren’t sure how to communicate effectively.

How to recognise: The client relays to you what they want, you deliver it, the client doesn’t like it. They want something completely different, you’re constantly back-and-forth adding new elements to the project.

How to deal: Similar to the “I assumed it was included” client, set out a set of guidelines around your process and make sure the project is clear before beginning. Ask plenty of questions, have the client fill-in an order form and avoid miscommunication.

  1. The “Is it finished yet?” client

General lack of awareness of space and time surrounds this client. They believe that simply having ideas means the work is instantly completed. Although you may need the business, be careful, taking on too many of these clients might backfire.

How to recognise: They will give you a lot of work and then will drop the bomb-shell, they need it in 24 hours. What!?

How to deal: Be upfront and honest. Can you handle this turnaround? Do you have the resources? If the client expects the impossible, take the time to educate them back to reality.

No matter what types of clients you have you can manage them with Holded’s CRM platform. Manage your leads with personalised sales funnels, and access your client’s information at any time.

And remember, you love your clients.

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