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Difficult clients in a tough economy?

Posted by Ilise Benun on

Here is a question (and my answer) from one of the attendees at last week's CFC webcast, Finding and Reaching the Right Prospects.

It's one I get a lot these days, so maybe it's been on your mind too:

Q: During this difficult economy, should one discriminate against difficult potential clients or is there a way to make the relationship work?

A: It depends, of course. You can sometimes make it work, but only if you have strong boundaries, clear policies that you enforce and excellent communication skills.

That said, my general advice would be to pay attention to red flags and, whenever possible, steer clear of difficult clients. Faced with the choice between a "bird in the hand" or a bird out there somewhere, unless you have no food on the table, I'd choose the the bird out there (i.e. marketing). It's a better use of your time to go to a networking event or make a round of calls than to accept a client who will make your life difficult with little financial reward (remember, difficult clients often suck up more time than you estimated.) The more marketing you do, the more prospects you'll encounter, the more choice you'll have between the difficult ones and the good ones.

Anyone have experience to support this idea?

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