I’ve been blessed to have worked with many awesome small business owners. Their qualities: professionalism, great communication and collaboration skills and passion for their business and their customers. They understand client relationships and are usually treating me as they would like to be treated by their clients.
Occasionally, however, I do get nightmare customers who leave me wandering whether I’m in the wrong business. Here are 10 things that they have in common:
- Their first question is “how much will it cost?”
- They give you a list (read litany) of all the things they want ending “with the economy the way it is, we don’t have much money”.
- They make you babysit their problems before even getting started.
- They talk about how others before you have “cheated” them and left the work half-way done.
- They don’t provide you with any specification letting you come up with what you think is “best” for their business. You will only find out later that you “got everything wrong”.
- Their version of agreements is always different to yours? Strangely, it’s always in their favor.
- They are offering free advertising instead of payment: “Think about the publicity! It’ll be great on your portfolio!
- They know your job better then you: “Web development’s easy! You just type and add pictures. Anyone can do that.”
Problem clients are a reality for any business. You can only do your best to steer away from them by recognizing the right signs.