Difficult clients. Eurgh.

At one point or other, all freelancers have to deal with The Difficult Client. Every difficult client is different – there’s the fussy clients (you will literally never please them), the ‘always one last thing to do that’s not part of the original contract’ clients, the never-reply-to-email clients or, my least favourite, the never-pay-on-time clients.

In an ideal world, we’d all love to avoid difficult clients. It’s great to have some clients that push us to constantly improve, but those ones that drain us and take up more time than they should are only worth going for if you’re passionate about the cause – or, to be realistic, they pay the bills.

How do you deal with difficult clients? Strict no-go policy, or work on a case-by-case basis? Vote in the poll below, then let me know your experiences with difficult clients!

[poll id=”9″]

What’s your worst client experience?

Image: Flickr user  eamoncurry123

3 Comments on Poll: How do you deal with difficult clients?

  1. Your post on how to deal with difficult clients got me thinking!  Once you have client and they become difficult I think you need to set guidelines and to a certain extent suck it up!  The trick is looking for the signs that a prospect could be a difficult client!

    • True, I think a lot of the time it’s gut instinct though. When I’ve ignored my gut instinct about a client or contract, I usually regret it.

  2. I agree with Karen – strict guidelines and a bit of sucking it up! I think sometimes as a freelancer you have to go on your gut feeling when you first meet/interact with a client. However – if you end up in a sticky situation then communication is key! Managing people’s expectations, clearly outlining what both you and they expect and remembering (no matter how much we hate it…and that it might not feel true) the customer is always right! 

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