To succeed inbusiness, you must be able to understand your client’s character. In many ways, you have to play the part of a psychologist- no graduate degree in Behavioral Psychology necessary, of course.

Gauging the unique moods and personalities of your clients is an often overlooked skill which can help you greatly further your career.

While there are numerous types of clients, there are a few which you are bound to run into more often than any others.

Let’s explore!

1. The “Friend of the Family” Client

Typically, it’s not a very smart idea to deal with customers you are familiar with, such as close friends or relatives, because these clients believe they deserve special treatment- just because they know you in some way or another.

While you may be tempted to shower these clients with the special treatment they feel entitled to, you must remember that business is business. If they can’t understand this, its best to avoid dealing with them entirely.

2. The “Never Fully Satisfied” Clients

These are the clients which will always find something to complain about- and yes, its normal for it drive you up a wall.

The important thing is to never react unprofessional with these clients, because this picky-ness is often just a part of their personality.

A good method for dealing with this type of client is to practice a lot of patience – and to be as precisely detailed as possible when entering into contracts.

If you find that, after your contract is complete, you’d rather not deal with their nit-picking anymore, this is fine. Just be sure to end the relationship on a positive note so it doesn’t bring you any bad press.

3. The Interrogator

You know the client who seems to never run out of questions?

That’s the interrogator.

They can really drain your energy stores with their constant questioning, but try to remember that they are simply aiming to be a more informed client- and there is certainly nothing wrong with this.

You, as the professional, need to take the time out of your day to fully answer their questions. If you find it difficult, just think of it as a good time to practice your patience.

If you’re able to answer all of this type of client’s questions in full, you have a very good chance of making a loyal customer out of them.

4. The Subtly Abusive Saver

You might say that the subtly abusive saver is a bit like the “never full satisfied” clients we discussed in a previous paragraph.

The big difference is that they like to subtly tell you what is wrong with your products and/or services so that they can receive a discount. They believe that discredited everything you offer them will prompt you to lower your price.

The best way to deal with these types of clients is to simply show them unwavering confidence – and let them know you have no problem walking away from a transaction if they decide to be rude or abusive in any form.

5. The Ideal Client

The ideal client is one which immediately gives you their full trust, and openly appreciates your creativity, skills, and knowledge.

They don’t mind paying full price, are easy to talk to, and always 100% ready to try their best to understand what you’re trying to tell them. If you do your job well, these ‘ideal’ clients are very easy to transition into loyal clients.

6. Uncertain Clients

Uncertain clients often enter a business relationship without a clear vision of what they want.

This indecisiveness can stem from a lack of knowledge about the services or products offered, or simply an unclear business strategy on their part. It’s crucial to guide these clients through the decision-making process.

This involves asking probing questions to understand their underlying needs, presenting them with tailored options, and helping them visualize the potential outcomes of each choice. Patience and excellent communication skills are key in dealing with such clients.

Once a direction is decided, it’s essential to document every decision made.

This serves as a reference point for both parties and minimizes misunderstandings. Following up with these clients regularly to reaffirm their choices and make necessary adjustments can also be beneficial.

Ensuring that they feel supported and heard throughout the process will help in building a strong, trusting relationship.

7. Urgent Clients

Urgent clients are characterized by their need for quick results.

They often operate under tight deadlines and expect your services to be delivered in a similarly expedited manner. The challenge here is managing their expectations while maintaining the quality of your work.

It’s important to understand the reasons behind their urgency – is it driven by an internal deadline, market pressures, or something else? Open and honest communication about your capabilities and timelines is crucial.

Negotiating a feasible timeline that satisfies the urgency of the client while being realistic from your end is a delicate balance.

It’s also advisable to keep these clients regularly updated on progress to mitigate their anxiety over deadlines. In some cases, prioritizing certain aspects of the project to meet critical milestones can be a strategy, as long as it doesn’t compromise the overall quality of the deliverable.

8. Unresponsive Clients

Working with unresponsive clients requires a strategic approach.

These clients often fail to communicate promptly, making it challenging to progress with projects or get necessary feedback.

The key is to establish clear communication protocols and expectations at the outset of the relationship. This includes agreeing on response times, preferred communication channels, and regular check-in schedules.

When facing prolonged periods of non-response, gentle reminders and follow-ups are necessary.

It’s also beneficial to outline the potential impacts of their unresponsiveness on the project timeline and quality. In some cases, setting up automated reminders or utilizing client management software can help in maintaining regular communication.

However, it’s important to remain professional and understanding, as their lack of response could be due to factors outside their control.

9. Clients Concerned with Costs

Clients who are highly concerned with costs require a transparent and upfront approach when it comes to pricing and budgeting.

These clients appreciate detailed breakdowns of costs and being informed about potential variables that could affect the final price. Clear communication about the value and quality of your services helps in justifying the costs.

It’s also beneficial to discuss potential areas where costs can be optimized without compromising quality.

When negotiating with cost-conscious clients, flexibility can be a valuable asset.

Offering customizable service packages or tiered pricing options can cater to their budget constraints while still delivering value.

It’s also essential to manage expectations regarding any additional costs that may arise during the course of the project and ensure these are agreed upon in advance.

10. Clients Who Monitor Your Work Closely

Clients who closely monitor your work often do so out of a desire for control and assurance of quality. Establishing boundaries from the beginning is crucial to maintain a healthy working relationship.

This includes setting up regular intervals for updates and feedback, and clearly defining the scope of work and decision-making processes.

These clients appreciate detailed explanations of the work process and being kept in the loop at every stage.

Providing them with regular, structured updates and access to project management tools can give them a sense of involvement and control.

It’s also important to assert your expertise and guide them in understanding that micromanaging can hinder the efficiency and creativity of the project.

11. Efficient Clients

Efficient clients value brevity and clarity.

They prefer straight-to-the-point communication and swift decision-making. When dealing with such clients, it’s important to prepare concise summaries of discussions, decisions, and action items.

Avoiding unnecessary jargon and focusing on key points is crucial in communications with them.

Since efficient clients often make quick decisions, providing them with clear, organized options and recommendations helps in expedited decision-making.

It’s also important to respect their time by ensuring meetings are focused and productive. Efficient clients appreciate professionalism and a no-nonsense approach in business dealings.

12. Traditional Clients

Traditional clients often resist change and prefer sticking to familiar methods and processes.

When introducing new ideas or changes, it’s important to provide detailed explanations of the benefits and how these align with their established ways of doing business. Demonstrating respect for their experience and viewpoint while gently guiding them towards modern methods is key.

Building trust with traditional clients involves showing them that new approaches or technologies can enhance rather than disrupt their existing operations.

Case studies or examples of successful implementations can be persuasive.

Patience and a gradual approach to change can help in easing these clients into new and potentially more efficient or effective ways of working.

13. Trendy Clients

Trendy clients are always looking for the latest innovations and trends to apply to their businesses.

While their enthusiasm for new ideas can be invigorating, it’s important to ensure that the trends they want to pursue align with their business goals and strategies. Educating them about the potential benefits and drawbacks of each trend is crucial.

Advising these clients involves a balance of embracing new ideas while maintaining a focus on sustainable and practical solutions. It’s also beneficial to provide data or case studies that illustrate the effectiveness of these trends in similar contexts.

Being well-informed about current trends and their applicability in different scenarios allows you to guide these clients effectively.

14. Clients Who Work on Committees

Clients who work on committees often face challenges in decision-making due to the need for consensus among multiple stakeholders.

In such scenarios, it’s helpful to have a clear understanding of the committee’s structure and decision-making process. Offering to present directly to the committee or facilitating workshops can help in aligning viewpoints and moving decisions forward.

Establishing a primary point of contact within the committee can streamline communication and provide clarity.

It’s also important to provide comprehensive information that can be easily shared and understood by all committee members, aiding in their collective decision-making process.

Wrapping Up

The main thing to remember is that all clients are unique individuals who have very different needs.

While certain personalities may aggravate you, you must understand that some types of clients are just being who they are, and they can’t help that.

Patience and understanding can go a very long way, in both your personal and business lives.

You will find that when you deal appropriately and professionally with your clients- no matter their personality- that you will soon have high numbers of loyal clients, and the thriving business that goes with it.