Now that’s a bit of a strange title for a post. If a client is a client, then how could there be a “bad” client? Perhaps using the adjective “bad” is not quite appropriate, but when you have a client that makes unreasonable demands on your time, who rarely follows the advice you provide, complains about a variety of things (most or all quite petty) and then doesn’t pay on time, this is not a “high-quality” client.
This kind of client doesn’t follow your advice because they have extremely “special” circumstances that need inordinate amounts of personal attention and even then, things just don’t work out.
At times like these, you may start doubting your ability to produce a good result. You decide to try even harder with this client, because you have a high level of integrity and you want everyone you work with to succeed. Let me offer another viewpoint: this client (and others like him/her) are making it more and more difficult for you and your staff to deliver to others.
Your time AND attention gets locked up in these apparent failures and you have less time AND attention to devote to other clients. I emphasize the word “attention” because that’s exactly what happens.
Business owners have just so much attention available in a given production day and when a good chunk of that attention is fixated on a very small number of people who are very difficult to work with, well, the bottom line suffers.
What would happen if you let those clients go, phased them out, perhaps even gave them their money back and then had all kinds of time and attention available to creating a more ideal client? You may find yourself with many more ideal clients than before.
Ideal clients are clients you WANT to work with: they listen, they follow your advice, they pay on time, and yes, they want you to succeed too. More ideal clients not only add up to a more profitable activity, they also bring a breath of fresh air and sanity for you and your staff.
I’m not advocating you just outright dismiss clients who are challenging to your business. I’m suggesting you look around and see if you have a handful of clients (customers, patients, etc.) who just take up way too much time and energy and therefore reduce your ability to promote and deliver to others.
They also seem to drain the life out of you and/or your staff. If that’s happening, then consider the option presented above.
It just might work…