Episode 20. 5 Ways to Avoid Difficult Clients (Stop Legal Problems Before They Start!)
We’ve all had problem clients – I know I have. Whether we find out after the fact or learn how to recognize warning signs, not everyone we work with is going to offer a smooth experience. I’ve learned a lot from dealing with them in the past and in this episode, I’m passing on those lessons to you.
Problem clients often become legal problems. We’ve already talked about how to break things off when a client you’re dealing with becomes a pain, but let’s see how we can prevent dealing with them in the first place.
In this episode, you’ll hear…
- 05:40 – Why it pays to be picky
- 14:57 – How to set boundaries with clients
- 23:38 – Trusting your intuition
- 24:57 – Paying attention to special requests
- 32:00 – How to tell a client you’re not a good fit
- 33:41 – Interviewing your clients
- 36:33 – Warming up and weeding out
Gatekeeping your time
Offering free intro calls can be a great way to onboard potential clients. But keep in mind that your time as an entrepreneur is incredibly valuable. Think about how you can create checkpoints in your funnel before people get direct access to you and your time. The first thing I would consider is getting rid of a direct link to book a call with you – as it often ends up being a big waste of time.
Deploy smart copy on your booking page to help qualify who the call is for and build in a short application process. This can help cut people off who aren’t the right fit without having to burn time on the phone to find out. You want to ensure that anyone booking a call is only doing so because they seriously want to work with you.
Trust your gut
Nearly every time I coach someone through dealing with a problem client, they say something along the lines of, “I knew this was going to happen.” Referring back to our episode on pain clients, red flag warning signs naturally give us a bad feeling, like when they ask you to make exceptions or wonder more about how you do business than what you offer. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck (or a potential PITA client, in this case).
When you’re just starting out and you don’t want to turn away business, it can be easy to dismiss those feelings in favor of short-term profit. But remember, the money a problem client pays you (if they end up paying at all) is rarely worth the cost, the time, and the headache of dealing with them on a consistent basis.
Interview your clients while they interview you
It’s important to remember that, at the same time your customer is trying to decide if you’re a good fit for them, you should be determining whether or not they are a good fit for you. Ask them questions about budget, time availability, and if they consider themselves to be self-starters or need more of a hand-holding approach. You can learn so much by asking the right questions.
Last but not least, I’d love for you to download my new freebie, Pre-Qualify Before They Buy, a series of email templates plus video training to help you legally prep and pre-quality clients before wasting anyone’s time with a discovery call.
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Resources Discussed in This Episode
- Visit samvanderwielen.com/prequalify-oyt to get my Pre-Qualify Before They Buy templates
- Episode 2. Scope of Practice for Coaches (What You’re Legally Allowed to Do)
- Episode 5. What to Do When a Client is a Pain
If you’re ready to legally protect and grow your online business today, save your seat in my free workshop so you can learn how to take the simple legal steps to protect the business you’ve worked so hard to build. Click here to watch the free workshop so you can get legally legit right now!
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DISCLAIMER: Although Sam is an attorney she doesn’t practice law and can’t give you legal advice. All episodes of On Your Terms are educational and informational only. The information discussed here isn’t legal advice and isn’t intended to be. The info you hear here isn’t a substitute for seeking legal advice from your own attorney.
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