My Manual (so far) For Dealing With “Difficult” Clients

I’m a sensitive soul (don’t tell anyone) – so I always thought business would be ‘too difficult’ for me to handle.

“You’ve got to be thick skinned, toughen up and stick to the cold hard facts,” I was told…many a time, by many a well-meaning acquaintance.

But what if that’s not your bag? How can you retain all your connection to self and Universe, and deal with the inevitable difficulties and confrontations that will arise? When you love people, love what you do and take huge pride in that (like most of you who I know that follow Life Empowerment Project), situations like these are almost powerful enough to de-rail you.

But you can’t simply give in when that sinking weight hits you in the stomach, and you can’t succumb to the endless doubts that attempt to creep into your mind. Your mission is too big, and you are too extraordinary, to be de-railed.

I don’t have all the answers yet, and absolutely never will, but here are a few tips I’ve learned through my handful of years in business on how to deal with difficult clients.

*difficult clients are those ones that come to you blaming, angry, kicking off, etc, over a ‘problem’ that isn’t really a problem. It might be the unnecessary demanding of a refund, or the belief that you are responsible for their lack of results, or just a general disregard for your time, expertise and giving nature. Whatever the case, these are a few things I’ve learned that I hope will help you navigate the waters and come out an even stronger leader:

Stay true

You are a phenomenal person and you’re here to help people. Remember that, and continue to operate from that space.

Acknowledge

If there has been a problem your end, acknowledge it – preferably BEFORE the client becomes difficult, but usually in the ‘difficult’ definition (see above) there’s no way to predict that! I’m a firm believer in Marie Forleo’s philosophy ‘everything is figureoutable’ – but I’m also a firm believer in manners and rationale.

Detach from the emotion

Yes, an issue like this will likely upset you, if you’re anything like me! But NO, your emotional response is not appropriate, necessary and certainly not helpful in this situation. “that’ll only make things worse” as my mother used to tell me! When we get emotional, we get reactive, and when we get reactive, we don’t bring our best to the table. And you deserve to bring your best!

It’s their issue

Even if there has been a problem, the difficulty they are bringing is NOT just about this. It’s something going on with them – no happy person reacts this way! Keep that in mind as you’ve put the confrontation to bed, so the thoughts don’t keep YOU up all night!

You don’t need defences

Defences used to be my best friend, I pretty much wore them continually throughout my teens. But they aren’t going to help at all in this situation! Be open to listening, and be flexible in your communication but strong in your values and worth.

Learn

Some of my best practices have come about in light of confrontations. I have contracts with everyone I work with, I lay my boundaries out clearly at the beginning of the relationship, and I communicate everything I need to until I am sure it is fully understood.

Clear your energy

“Shake it off” as Taylor Swift advises! Not kidding! I had a prospective client a while ago who came to me wanting help. Free help, as it turned out, which is always fun. Explaining that free help wouldn’t cut it reduced her to tears, blaming and anger. I was ‘pressuring her’, and a whole variety of other things. BANG I entered self-questioning mode – just about the most unresourceful state out there. My point, finally, is that I didn’t clear that state. I carried it with me, and I was cautious on many calls after that, which isn’t me at my best and most certainly won’t allow me to help women in the ways I can when I am firing on all cylinders. Clear your energy, “get naked” and cleanse yourself of the stories. The past doesn’t have to repeat! Shake it off, re-centre and resume!

Send them love and blessings

This was the advice of a good friend of mine when I had my first incident/confrontation/fear-inducing unhappy conversation. Send them love and blessings, she said. Whatever we resist, persists. If you keep pushing back, the world is going to push back a whole lot harder and you’ll simply find yourself struggling for longer. And there’s no time to waste…there are people waiting for your help! By sending them love and blessings, you’re surrendering, and putting yourself in a state of openness and love where you can get the message (refer to step 6!), where you can clear your energy (refer to step 7!) and you can let go. With every new level comes a new devil, and these incidents are a sure sign you’re approaching new heights. You can’t have the good without the bad, and you can’t have praise without criticism. Send love and blessings to them, and send some to yourself too.

Finally, gain perspective

This is a blip in time and will one day feel insignificant. Why not make that day today, and feel about it now, how you will in the future! You’ve got bigger things to occupy your focus, so get back to your vision and your WHY – you’re here to do big things, girl!

 

Confrontations, difficulties, challenges are unfortunately unavoidable in business. Just accept every one, lower your resistance and learn the lesson the first time (this stops the same lesson banging on your door repeatedly!).  Always operate  from a place of love, value and giving, and be crystal clear on your ideal client – not just demographics but also on her (or his) characteristics as well.  The clearer you are, the more you’ll recognise your perfect client, and spot the ones who aren’t so perfect. Remember, you’re not here to serve everyone and there’s no way on earth you’ll ever please everyone! Keep doing what you’re doing, phenomenal woman – the world needs you!

 

Leave A Response

* Denotes Required Field