10 Clients You’ll Meet &
How to Interact With Them
Regardless of the industry that you’re in, you’re bound to encounter a wide range of clients. It’s important to understand the different types of clients you’ll face in order to determine the best way to serve them. A business that has a comprehensive understanding of client goals and needs allows for personalized problem solving techniques that best cater to the client’s unique industry requirements. Here are 10 of the most common clients you’ll meet, and the best way to interact with them.
1. The Client with a Bad Experience
The client who has had a negative experience in the past is likely to be reluctant to work with someone again in the future. In this scenario it’s best to sympathize with the client about what they experienced, listen to their concerns and do what you can to reassure them that what your business is doing is different.
2. The Client Who Needs the Job Done ASAP
Sometimes, a client will come to you with a sense of urgency and will often request a quick deadline. Here, it’s important to understand the client’s project timeline and whether or not your business is equipped with the capabilities to deliver the fast turnaround they’re seeking. Having an honest conversation with the client is critical; it is necessary to determine how set in stone their deadline is and explain any time constraints your organization may be facing. It’s paramount to work with your client to develop a timeline that is realistic so as to not establish an expectation you may not be able to meet.
3. The Client Who Is Unresponsive
Picture this, it’s been weeks since the project began; you’ve been calling, messaging and emailing your client but they’ve been radio silent. Now with the project deadline only a few months away, they suddenly reappear and are demanding that things happen more quickly or differently than originally agreed upon. If you find yourself dealing with an unresponsive client, it can be incredibly frustrating. It’s important that at the start of the project, your team and the client set periodic meeting times to touch base about important project updates; if your client becomes distant, gently remind them about the necessity of these meetings. Patience is key, but it’s also important to discuss the importance of your time for effective project completion.
4. The Client That Micromanages
Unlike the unresponsive client, the client who micromanages is concerned with all aspects of the project and has to be in the know on every little detail. These clients will frequently call, message and email you questioning your process and ask for updates sooner than may be available. In these scenarios, establishing clear boundaries is critical. It can also be helpful to establish a clear project timeline from the beginning and outline a time frame where you’ll be available to take calls and messages. Be honest with your client about your business’s expertise and provide examples of past successful projects as a means to reassure them.
5. The Client Who’s Uncertain
Occasionally, you’ll encounter a client who isn’t really sure what they want from your business. These clients may have a clear idea of what they want the end result to be but are unsure of how to get there. In these situations, it’s best to sit down with your client and discuss the different approaches you could take to solve their problem. When you’ve come to a decision on what makes the most sense, be sure to document it as a reference point for your client should they need a refresher in the future.
6. The Client That’s Indecisive
When dealing with a client who struggles to come to a clear decision, it is helpful to meet with them and discuss what their goals and objectives are. This way, you can better assist them by providing option recommendations that best suit their needs. By narrowing down their options, it can make deciding on one significantly less intimidating.
7. The Client Concerned About Costs
It’s a reasonable concern for any client to be weary of exact costs. This can be challenging if you work in an industry where a cost estimate is generated beforehand and varies slightly after the project has been completed. Discussing any areas of possible price fluctuations is critical and it’s important to have open communication with your client throughout the project to consult with them on any additional fees that may arise.
8. The Client Who Is Ultra-Efficient
The client that likes to keep things short, sweet and to the point. When facing a client like this, it’s best to meet them where they’re at. This means avoid any unnecessary fluff and present clear facts and data where necessary. These clients aren’t overly concerned with the process, they just want to make sure the outcome is what they want and will help to simplify their own work processes. Here, directness is key.
9. The Client Who Is Afraid to Speak Up
These clients can be tricky. They’re deeply appreciative of the work you’re doing but are fearful of bringing up any criticisms or questions about your services. This runs the risk of them being ultimately disappointed in the long run so it’s critical that you let them know how important their opinion and feedback is in this process. Let the client know their voice is being heard and offer solutions that work for both of you.
10. The Client Who Wants to Make Changes After the Project Has Finished
It’s a worst case scenario; you’ve finished implementing the project and now the client comes to you with a change that could result in you having to redo a simple component — or the entire project. Before adhering to the client’s request, make sure that the client understands the full financial and logistical implications of doing so. It’s important that the client receives a solution that works best for them but transparency about additional time and costs is paramount.
The way you initially interact with a client often sets the stage for your working relationship. Having a comprehensive understanding of the client you’re facing can vastly improve the quality of services you provide and ensure that you’re providing a solution that has been curated for their specific needs.