We all have encountered that difficult client who from our point of view is demanding and abrasive. But when you are an entrepreneur, you do not have the luxury of declining an opportunity to make money. But the question remains: How do you deal with a problematic situation?
First, the most important thing to remember is that it is just business. In other words, you need to learn to separate business from your emotions. No matter what a difficult client says is not a reflection of you personally. It is a reflection of how the client sees the situation from their point of view. You do not have control over the client but you do control how choose to respond. Ask yourself what it would feel like to never again experience that stress and trepidation. Allowing you to transformation negative energy into positive and productive action.
How does you accomplish this? You must be committed. The process of adjusting my behavior did not happen overnight and I had many missteps but, I stayed committed. And that made all the difference. I began by repeating the mantra "it is just business" over and over to myself before work and during struggling times. I did this until it became second nature and I noticed an immediate change in the way I dealt with difficult situations and the positive effects I felt emotionally and physically.
The second step was to put myself in the client's shoes. I focused on what the client was trying to say and accomplish through their aggressive behavior. I needed to find that bottom line. Providing me with what was essential to the client. It may be that extra attention that they needed to feel secure or a sense of understanding of where they were coming from. Once I gained that knowledge, I could then customize my approach. For example, I laid out the end goal, explained the methodology that I would take, and emphasized I understood the clients reservations. I also reiterated that I would be honest and actively involved with them throughout the process. And I made myself available to the client at all times.
In the end, to deal with challenging clients is to treat them as you would like to be treated if you were in their shoes. And remember, to gain control over the situation is to remain emotionally detached.
Monika Witek provides business, intellectual property, forensic and fraud litigation and business valuation services to attorneys and their clients. Her focus is on providing damage, lost profits and valuation calculations related to commercial and intellectual property litigation.