Have you ever had to deal with shitty clients? If you’ve been around for a while, I know you have… Getting crappy clients is a natural part of the process of becoming a successful entrepreneur.
However, once you’ve gone through this process, it’s always a good idea to have some “countermeasures” to make sure you don’t get stuck with a bad client ever again!
Having bad clients is not necessarily a bad thing.
You see, when you come across a PITA client, you reinforce your beliefs of what an AMAZING client should be, and that’s a great thing that could happen to your business.
Not so long ago, I got a referral client from a source with a very high reputation. I got recommended as THE GUY to go if you wanted to build a complex funnel and send traffic to it.
So I was pumped because this would be a high ticket project.
Things started well, but the client had “something” that didn’t cut it. I didn’t listen to my gut feeling at the time (I was honestly blinded by the money), and I kept on working with him, putting my best effort and half of my team to work for this funnel.
At some point, the client decided to make several changes to the initial agreement, and I accepted them. Again, he came from a reputable source, and I wanted to keep my good relationship with both the client and the referral… error #2.
As the client requested for more changes, my team got caught up in his endless requests and started to complain. I jumped in to actually do stuff instead of putting a hard stop to this guy… error #3.
To make things worse, he didn’t deliver on his part.
He was supposed to send us a bunch of videos to put on his funnel, and it took him no less than two months to get this videos to us. My logic was that we would keep on working on the funnel in the meantime… error #4.
With the funnel almost finished, the guy jumps out of nowhere with a threatening email, saying that we took two months to deliver a funnel that was supposed to be done in 2 weeks… I was surprised AND mad.
To make a long story short, I ended up refunding him his deposit, paying all of my team out of pocket and losing two months of hard work that could’ve ended up on something more productive. Not to mention the frustration to negotiate with such a scumbag.
I started doing some research AFTER the fact and realized that the guy had several lawsuits and he filed for bankruptcy a couple of times. I didn’t do this before I trusted my source… error #1000.
After things went to normal (as they always do) and we kept moving forward (as we always do), I sat down and wrote everything that went wrong with this guy. I’ve had some shitty clients in the past, but nothing like this… and here are some of my findings.
I consider myself a pretty logical person. I try to make decisions based on my mind and my ideas, instead of emotions… but sometimes, following your gut feeling can be a powerful ally.
Some clients have red flags everywhere. And you should pay attention and investigate them closely.
Is the client showing up to the meetings on time? Is the guy open and honest with you regarding his expectations? Has he been burned or disappointed in the past? Is he complaining about not having enough money?
There are also some “hints” that you cannot explain with words… but it just doesn’t feel right. If you’re aware of this, maybe it’s a good idea to just skip the client altogether.
This is a key component in any kind of human relationship. Managing expectations and what the client CAN expect and what he CANNOT expect from you is vital.
I clearly didn’t manage expectations that well. I consider myself a good, flexible, easy going guy to work with. I’m not going to yell at you if you ask for a couple of changes. I’d rather you have a good experience working with me…
Sometimes, this “couple” of changes end up being a whole new project. So you need to be 100% crystal clear of what a project would include, and what would take some extra money/resources to make it happen.
You can easily distinguish a client that will be a PITA from the one that would be great to work with by the type of conversations that you’re having with him.
For example, when I was doing SEO for clients back in the day, I’d instantly recognize a PITA client if he’d mention his rankings, how many pages he had indexed, how many keywords he was targeting, what kind of SEO techniques he applied, and so forth.
It’s like you telling your mechanic what kind of tools to use to fix your engine, or what kind of pieces, or how to put it together, etc. If you’re having conversations out of ANY other subject than clients, leads, and sales… you have a potential micromanager in the house.
What I see lots of marketers and entrepreneurs do, is that they try to educate their clients as to why they are a valuable investment to make. If you’re getting the question “Why should I hire you instead of doing it myself?”, then that’s a blatant red flag and you should get out of there immediately.
It’s 100% easier, fun and more rewarding to work with clients that are ALREADY educated on the value you can provide for their company. They don’t need any convincing AT ALL, you just need to negotiate the terms of the agreement, and that’s it…
And they’ll never question why you’re doing what you’re doing (which ties with the micromanagers above).
With this said, I cannot tell you what your ideal client would look like. That’s a powerful exercise that you’ll need to do on your own. So right now, take out a piece of paper or write down on your computer “What Your Ideal Client Would Look Like?”.
What are they doing right now that will help you getting them more results? What kind of budget do they have? How many employees? How much are they making in sales? What are their expectations? What are their values? What do they love? What do they fear? What they’d like to see to have an extraordinary experience with you?
Once you’re done, put your answers in the Facebook group!
Here’s a video on how to get amazing clients that WANT to pay you and work with you…
The Power of Marketing is a project by Hernan Vazquez Media, LLC. www.hernanvazquez.com. This initiative is to help small business owners, entrepreneurs and agencies learn tips, tricks, techniques and methods in regards to Digital Marketing and Marking in general.
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