Intuitively you might think that it is good clients, not bad, that would tend to draw excessive attention. After all, who spends too much time doing chores, exercising or chatting up their in-laws? If your like most of us, you tear yourself away from the things you like to focus on the things you must to do stay alive (and thrive).
In my experience, client management all too often falls to the inverse. The reason, although counter-intuitive, is really quite straight forward. Good clients, clients whose company who enjoy, and who treat you with respect will forgive you.
Bad clients are overbearing, demanding, excessively emotional and unfair. Displeasing them is hard work, they will punish you.
And so, we all to often take the easy way out. We put of the needs of those we should be pleasing to satisfy those who will never be pleased. It’s a perfectly understandable phenomenon, and ultimately a poisonous one. In this case the right decision, for you you and your business, is to not play favorites, but to treat all your clients fairly.
Here are just a few ways you can avoid this trap:
- Schedule your time - Plan ahead, clients of who provide a certain amount of business should get a proportionate amount of attention. Make a realistic, balanced schedule and stick to it.
- Communicate your availability - Make sure all your clients know ahead of time that you have a finite amount of time to contribute to their cause. Be inflexible and consistent, let them know you cannot be manipulated into sacrificing time you have promised to others (including friends and family).
- Don’t fear rejection - Bad clients will leave you, sometimes after you have done everything they have asked and more. Accept that if they choose to leave you if you haven’t failed them your business is better off without theirs.
- Treasure your best clients - The goal of working with people you like is an admirable and healthy one. When you treat all your clients fairly, the best will recognize and appreciate it.