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Tips for Dealing with Difficult Clients


We’ve all had them… difficult clients. It’s something every virtual assistant dreads, but it’s also something every single one of us will have to deal with. 

Inevitably, you will end up working with a client that doesn’t respect your boundaries, is rude, is a penny pincher, is inconsiderate or doesn’t respect what you bring to the table. It’s definitely going to happen, so it’s best to arm yourself with the knowledge of how to handle that situation now, before it happens!

Here are five tips on dealing with difficult clients:

  1. Catch the red flags upfront or early on, and address them! It’s so easy to see red flags and sweep them under the rug, making excuses for the client, but that is never going to solve your problem! If anything, it will make things worse as you fail to address the issues early on and set boundaries that serve you. 
  2. Prepare beforehand. Take some time to write out what needs to be addressed and have a plan of action for how you would like to address the issue. Things to think through are what happened, what should have happened and what is expected to happen next time.
  3. Approach things with grace and kindness. When you are addressing those red flags, be sure to come from a place of grace, understanding and kindness. Kindly, but clearly, communicate where they are crossing the line and re-establish your boundaries in that conversation.
  4. Consider sending a professional email to outline the issue and your boundaries. If a conversation isn’t sticking, then turn to a professional email. This can serve as an official notice that the engagement is on probation and if the items you outline are not addressed or resolved, you reserve the right to terminate the engagement.
  5. Don’t work with them in the first place! Treat each client as a learning opportunity so you can catch the red flags during your discovery phase and weed them out there. If you never work with them in the first place, you never have to figure out how to deal with them.

How do you deal with difficult clients and situations?

“Barrier Consulting has changed my business and my life. Evonne and her team keep my business goal-focused; moving projects faster toward success (and helping us look good doing it)! Everything they have helped with not only frees up my time and reduces stress but increases revenue too! My business would grow at snail speed without Barrier Consulting.”

– Pam Harjo, Youth Scoreboards

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