No Such Thing as a Difficult Client: 5 Quick Tips

Posted by Rich Mesch on Jan 31, 2010 7:01:00 AM

  1. Establish common ground. What business-relevant goals do you and your client have in common? Start by acknowledging a shared interest.
  2. Focus on results, not emotion. What are the action steps necessary to accomplish the business and performance results that both you and client can agree upon? Rather than becoming angry or exasperated, simply think about the end result and how to accomplish it. Then, you won’t have time for emotions.
  3. Influence through reciprocity. What might this client want that you can provide? Reciprocity helps you to influence your clients. If they, for example, afford you the time to conduct a thorough needs analysis, you could reciprocate by providing them with the statistics that help them sell their ideas more effectively to their manager.
  4. Inquire and Listen.  Never put words in another person’s mouth.  Ask their thoughts.  Listen to their concerns.
  5. Attune and Facilitate.  Step into the other persons shoes and imagine what it may be like to be in their position.  After you “see from their eyes”, facilitate a problem-solving discussion.  State your understanding of the other’s concerns and move towards a resolution.

Topics: Series, Performance Improvement, Client Management