How to Work with Different Breeds of Clients
A filmmaker makes his movies with audience’s interest in mind, an author writes to engage his readers. An understanding of your users’ tastes, moods and personalities is therefore important because any kind of enterprise doesn’t work in isolation. You have to be aware of who you are catering your services to. In business it’s your clients you need to consider, the quality of your service is vital of course but it takes a bit more to appease your clients. And that’s because there are different types of clients who will want different things and will even react to the same situation differently. You need to understand what kind of client you are dealing with and interact with him accordingly. It’s not rocket science neither do you have to know a lot about psychology. Figuring out your client can be fairly simple if you watch out for common traits in them.
We have compiled a list of 10 Breeds Of Clients And How to Work with Them, pros and cons of dealing with them for your benefit.
1. The Know-It-All Client
How Can You Identify Him: Such a client is very easy to spot because he will make his presence felt instantly. He will often brag about his past achievements and claim to know not only his job but yours as well.
Pros Of Working With Him: They can be easy to work with if you can leave your opinions aside and do exactly what the client wants. There will be no clashes of interest or grouses later as you would have done exactly what was asked of you.
Cons Of Working With Him: You will have to leave your inputs to yourself as they will not be appreciated. But that can cause you ethical dilemma. Some of these clients are even known to turn around and say that they’ve done the thinking job for you just to delay payments.
How Do You Deal With Him: Make it a point to note that you are following your client’s idea only because he wants it that way. Otherwise you are capable of doing your job without any input as well. After that, just go with the flow and don’t question your client’s ideas.
2. The Insecure Client
How Can You Identify Him: This breed of client is paranoid. He will wave an elaborate legal contract at you right at the onset. Needless to mention the agreement will be heavily stacked in his favor.
Pros Of Working With Him: As long as you follow the legally binding agreement you will not get into any trouble and will be paid on time. Make sure the contract isn’t too lopsided in your client’s favor.
Cons Of Working With Him: You will have to make doubly sure there are no loopholes in the contract that your client might use to not pay you when your job is done. It often means taking legal advice, which will cost you money.
How Do You Deal With Him: Such clients are only worth the effort if it’s a big size job that brings in decent amount of money. Factor in your legal costs to go through contracts before quoting him the sum for your services.
3.The Appreciative Client
How Can You Identify Him: This kind of client will not stop singing your praises and will give you a pat on the back for every small thing you have done.
Pros Of Working With Him: They are a dream to work with and will usually be happy with your services. And even if they are not, they will put it in a way that will motivate you to work further on the project.
Cons Of Working With Him: There are no foreseeable cons of working with this kind of client, only that they are few and far between. Just don’t judge all your clients by the same token or you will be disappointed.
How Do You Deal With Him: There is not much you have to do beyond doing your job to the best of your abilities. The rewards and praises will keep coming in. You can reciprocate the gesture by according your special client with the treatment he deserves.
4. The I-Love-Bargains Client
How Can You Identify Him: You are used to seeing this client in your everyday life in different spheres. He just loves his bargains, whether when he goes shopping or making a business deal with you. No matter what price you quote for your services he will negotiate the hardest.
Pros Of Working With Him: If you are smart enough and identify this client early, you can make deals that work for you as much for him. Such clients are good for long term benefits as they are likely to be repeat clients.
Cons Of Working With Him: You might end up feeling like you have got a raw deal if you give in too much to these clients. Also some of them are likely to try under hand methods to get further discounts or get out of payments, so beware.
How Do You Deal With Him: The trick is to spot him early before you begin negotiations. This way you will gain the upper hand and quote a sum that you know will be hacked down further but at least you will get a fair deal.
5. I Know What I Don’t Want Client
How Can You Identify Him: This breed of client will be very inarticulate and incapable of clearly expressing what is it that he wants. And that’s probably because he doesn’t know that himself and that makes him indecisive. But he will be quick to point out what he doesn’t want.
Pros Of Working With Him: It has to be by fluke, that you come up with exactly what this client wants because you wouldn’t know what to give him unless he tells you. But if it does happen, you will have won this client for ever and he will turn into an appreciative client.
Cons Of Working With Him: Working with him can be excruciating because you will spend time and energy trying out different ideas to give him the result. But that can all go to waste if he doesn’t like it. There will be strained relationships and a bad taste in your mouth without much gain.
How Do You Deal With Him: This is one rare breed of client that you can stay away from if you want to avoid headaches. Make sure you remind him of costs for different alternatives you will try to give him what he wants but doesn’t know exactly what it is.
6. Always In A Rush Client
How Can You Identify Him: All the correspondence with such a client will be marked as urgent. He will work odd hours of the day and night and also expect you to do so. He will demand your time as if he is your only client and you are supposed to drop everything else to attend to him.
Pros Of Working With Him: These clients are usually good at payments because they know they are constantly pushing you against deadlines. You can also take advantage of the situation by charging them over hourly basis rather than for entire project and they won’t mind paying up.
Cons Of Working With Him: You will always be given short timeframes to finish your job and there won’t be a moment of peace while it’s done. Such clients will be breathing down your neck and will demand regular updates, adding to your stress.
How Do You Deal With Him: By all means give these clients your attention but don’t overlook your other clients because of them. When you have to put them off for time, do so subtly rather than being aggressive. Such clients stand up for you when you need them the most.
7. I’ll Run It By The Committee/Board Client
How Can You Identify Him: He will try to sound like the voice of authority but he usually isn’t and will have to run every decision by a committee in charge. Such clients are mostly seen associated with large corporates.
Pros Of Working With Him: Since such clients aren’t able to take decisions on their own it’s possible to take some liberties with your services and slip them without being noticed.
Cons Of Working With Him: Committee members can take ages to get together and decide, which means agonizing wait for you. It’s usually couple of members in the committee who influence these decisions and that might work against you.
How Do You Deal With Him: Always stand your ground and charge a higher fee for such big corporate houses. If you can, identify the decision making members of the committee and target them for responses if you are making a presentation.
8. I’ll Take Whatever You Give Me Client
How Can You Identify Him: Such clients will make do with whatever product you give them. They are unassertive and won’t be very demanding. In fact they won’t even mind if you keep them waiting for long periods.
Pros Of Working With Him: You will be working in a very relaxed environment and at the end of it you will always have a happy client, no matter what you give him.
Cons Of Working With Him: It might outwardly seem like a winning situation to you, but don’t be fooled or worse still become complacent. Not all clients will be doormats like this breed and you might fall into the trap of performing lesser than what you actually can.
How Do You Deal With Him: You will have to be extremely disciplined and even conscientious to deliver good quality output on time. It’s good for you and your company’s reputation to do so. Also watching out for your clients who can’t look after themselves will bring you credibility.I’ll Take Whatever You Give Me Client.
9. The Miserly Client
How Can You Identify Him: This breed of client will come to you with a very tight budget, which will be on account of various reasons. They will always have their explanations for low budgets ready and will rattle them off to you without you asking for it.
Pros Of Working With Him: Since these clients get their jobs done very cheaply they are not in the position to make unreasonable demands. Some of them might even be appreciative of your services provided at low costs.
Cons Of Working With Him: Your profit margins are rarely high enough and you will have to take on more work from these clients to even things out. Some miserly clients will still expect to be treated like your best clients, which can be extremely annoying.
How Do You Deal With Him: Make sure you remind them that they are on low budgets and hence cannot be your priority clients. Such clients are easily dispensable if they start getting too demanding and even aggressive at times.
10. The You-Don’t-Know-What-You-Are-Missing Client
How Can You Identify Him: You will identify this kind of client with the general swagger in his demeanor and dealings. He’s probably a high profile client who might not pay you much but will have a project that will up your stakes in the market.
Pros Of Working With Him: Working for these clients will be good for your brand image. You will gain a reputation of being sought after, which will only add to your credibility. You will further get helpful contacts and leads into other such cool projects.
Cons Of Working With Him: These clients will make you feel like they are doing you a favour by letting you work for them, so you can forget just payments for your jobs. Resentment can build in if you work for such clients more often, which might make you cynical.
How Do You Deal With Him: Don’t pick too many of these clients, instead work with them sparingly. That too with a clear thought in your head that you are doing the job to up your profile and not monetary gains. If you are okay with that, such clients can be hugely beneficial in giving you a good break.
With this insight on your clients, you will be able to prioritize them, win over your best clients while get rid of clients who cause more headaches than profits if need be. Efficient client-management is a mantra to remember for your business relationships.
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