Have you ever had to deal with a truly unreasonable customer? If you’ve been in business for more than a week, chances are you have.
How did you handle it? Did you let it eat you up inside, consuming every waking moment? Did it get to the point where you talked about it for days on end, or posted your situation on Clients From Hell?
Did you realize that none of the complaining was productive at all? Sure it may have made you feel better in the moment, but it did nothing positive for you.
- You still have the pain in the butt client.
- The work you were contracted to do still needs to get done.
- Whoever you unload your complaints on will end up annoyed that all you do is complain, if you’re a repeat complainer.
- Complaining took your attention away from finding better clients to work with.
Zero. Zilch. Nada. Nothing productive came of that at all.
Sure, complaining might make you feel good in the moment that you’re lashing out, but will it have any long-term effects?
Choose Your Own Adventure
Imagine you just had one of those unreasonable clients come to you with another unreasonable request. Perhaps they even insult you or your work. Ugh, right?
Now, this is the choose your own adventure portion of the story. You get to choose what to do next.
Option A: Gripe and complain on Twitter, Clients From Hell, Facebook, etc.
Option B: Ignore the negativity, and work towards either finishing the project or terminating the engagement with that particular client.
Now fast forward one hour after choosing Option A or B. How do you feel? Do you think you’ll feel any differently about the client if you chose the other option?
If anything, choosing Option A will prolong the negative sentiments. It will take that much longer before you’ve begun to make any progress towards removing that client from your workload.
Yet, that’s the option so many people pick.
Choose To Be Happy
What does that client really mean to you? Outside of the paycheck, do they have any significant meaning in your life?
Chances are they don’t. Sure, there may be some situations where the cause they’re representing is also important to you, maybe they’re a friend or family member, etc. For the most part though the clients we work with are inconsequential to us. If it wasn’t for the work we’re doing for them, we probably wouldn’t think about them at all.
So why do we let them bother us so much?
Instead, choose to be happy. Remove the negative clients from your workflow to free up time for the positive ones, or to grow your business in other ways. Maybe even to free up time to spend with your family.
We’ll always have problems. Choose to solve better problems.
John Locke says
Yeah, I’ve never understood the people who throw their clients under the bus on Twitter, Facebook, Slack, etc. Every time I’ve had a client that made me unhappy (not often), I’ve either addressed the issues; or finished the work and then referred them elsewhere.
Scott DeLuzio says
Exactly! Complaining on social media just isn’t productive.