In order to become successful in the world of business, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 at understanding what you’re trying to tell them. If you do your job well, these ‘ideal’ clients are very easy to transition into loyal clients.
The main thing to remember is that all clients are unique individuals who have very different needs. While certain personalities may aggravate you, it is imperative you understand that 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 which goes with it.
Read More: A Tale of Two Clients