If you work long enough in marketing or related fields, such as web development, you will run into demanding clients.
These clients can subject your company to unreasonable demands, low pay, overwork, and even verbal abuse.
A few might not pay on time, as well.
The good news is these types of other clients are relatively rare, and there are strategies you can implement to avoid them that we outline below.
Many digital firms fire the most challenging and toxic clients. But another same way to handle it is to upcharge clients that make unreasonable demand.
Check that your contracts and billing policies have contingencies in place for the extra workload that some clients can cause.
You may want to consider charging rush fees if they want you to drop your entire client load and work only on their project.
Or, itemize how much time you spent doing rework that was done according to spec. You also can write in the contract that you will charge more when you have to handle an excessive amount of phone calls or emails.
Also, when you have a demanding client, you can insert provisions in the contract that will get you paid more quickly.
If you physically meet with clients, it can help to meet in your office, not theirs. If that won’t work, you can schedule meetings with your software. This way, discussions happen with your culture in the background, not theirs. It also means they are your guest, which can make them behave better.
Don’t sign a contract just because the content marketing client offers excellent pay. This is an easily avoidable rookie mistake. Check their references and see how they have worked with other contractors in the past.
Sometimes a client is so challenging that the company will tell them that they can no long run with them. If a client is too demanding, rude, even condescending, it may be time to send them to your competition.
However, it’s a good fit idea to give the SEO companies you send the client to that they may have trouble heading their way. After all, what comes around, goes around; someone could send toxic clients to you someday without warning!
It can be more challenging for companies to bully you and demand too much if you make everything clear in the contract. A well-written contract can cover you by giving you an advantage if you ever need to file a suit to get paid.
Sometimes, just referring the first client to the contract can get them to cool down and back off. On the other hand, a contract template you pull off the Internet might not give you the protection you need. In the worst case, it could even cause you problems. ‘Free’ isn’t always the best idea when it comes to writing contracts for your company.
Before you sign up with a client, it’s a good idea to check the business’s credit to see if they have a strong payment history. A low score may alert you to a company with cash flow problems.
When you have a paying client, even a difficult one, it can be all the hard work to say no. But some people will take advantage of that and drive you harder and harder until you have to do something.
There are clients out there that can insist that you work on a marketing campaign over Christmas and New Year’s. If you have a large staff, that could mean ruining everyone’s holidays. In a situation like that, you have to learn just to say no.
The idea of firing a client sounds straightforward, but things are delicate when you’re working in the corporate world. Firing a client can have consequences, especially if you make the wrong decisions or a company with influence.
Some of the factors to review when considering to fire a toxic clients are:
In most cases, you can’t just yell at the client, ‘you’re fired!’ as much as you might prefer! It would feel great, but it may come back to haunt you. Here are some steps to follow to let a toxic client go the right way:
While most clients are reasonable and easy to work with, human nature being what it is, sometimes you’ll run into a toxic situation. It’s ok; it happens to most businesses eventually. If you follow the guidelines above, you should be able to avoid the most toxic business relationships.