Student Village Academy Forums CAREERS AND JOBS 7 Tips for dealing with difficult clients as a freelancer

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      Shekinah Brama
      Moderator

      Although freelancing is not the easiest field, it can provide a lot of variety and the opportunity to build a business on your own terms. There’s always the desire to discover new clients worthy of devoting significant time to creating a proposal template. You will eventually come in contact with people who are difficult to work with, and you may even face late freelancing payments. Building rapport may come effortlessly to you with most clients, but there will be moments when it is difficult.

       It is critical to understand how to deal with difficult clients and how to discover the best method to avoid issues. It might be discouraging when clients become difficult to please after hiring you based on samples or first discussions and nothing appears to meet their approval. Unfortunately, clients frequently blame the freelancer, which is typically the result of poor communication or changing their ideas. Using an extensive freelance contract can help to address some issues because the client must sign it first, but other clients may become upset or irritated, which is difficult to deal with.

       Here are a few tips to help you deal with difficult clients and absolutely avoid wahala as a freelancer;

       

      1. Outline the project in detail: The first step in learning how to deal with challenging clients is to determine exactly what your client requires and what is expected of you. Misunderstanding is all too common. Perhaps the client is unable to explain their thoughts in an understandable manner, or they do not have a sufficiently comprehensive plan, which can lead to issues later on. So, sketch it out, read it over, and double-check it. This alone can help to limit problems. For example, when establishing graphic design contracts, inform clients about the number of changes they can request so that you don’t end up doing infinite revisions.

       

      1. Adapt communication style: We all have our own communication styles, but for some clients, it will be impossible to connect with them. It may be beneficial to change your communication style in order to boost rapport and ease of communication. If your client is very direct and speaks quickly rather than in a conversational tone, modify your own communications to match theirs. This could aid in the development of rapport. Make sure you don’t appear to be imitating them, as this may cause even more issues.

       

      1. Listen: When it comes to corporate communications, active listening is essential. If you want to know how to deal with tough clients and avoid misunderstandings, pay close attention to what they are attempting to convey. Because not all clients understand the process or have the finer details clearly detailed in their minds, listening with focus makes it easier to recognize and clarify any potential concerns. This will most likely help to eliminate any grey areas and guarantee that you and your client are on the same page. All freelancers should practice active listening. People generally focus on their answers rather than what is being said. Make an effort to listen and absorb. Try to grasp the situation from your client’s point of view, as they may be being difficult for a cause. It’s also helpful to ask relevant questions, such as by creating a branding questionnaire for design projects.

       

      1. Record all communication: While it is not practical or ideal to record all interactions with the customer, you can create meticulous notes and adhere to them to the letter. When a customer is difficult or continuously changes their mind about a project, add the dates and times to your outline so you have a record of what to talk about if the situation worsens. It may be helpful to confirm these modifications with the client to assure your understanding. This aids in the development of a strategy, which is especially beneficial for customers who contradict themselves. High-maintenance clients can be especially aggravating, but a decent outline can serve as a reminder.

       

      1. As problems develop, raise them: A previously smooth-running project may encounter challenges at any time. This begs the question of whether the customer expects you to handle such issues as part of the contract, and whether you should track your efforts in terms of time. Instead of going on, discuss these difficulties as soon as possible. Explain calmly that this has an impact on workflow and propose alternative solutions. Face-to-face communication is easier to understand. Written correspondence is susceptible to misunderstanding. If spoken communication is not possible, written communication might be utilized to convey the efforts made if the project fails. A client’s tendency to generalize rather than be particular might be frustrating. They may explain the flaws but fail to provide specifics on what is required. Create a list of bullet-point inquiries to assist you to get the information you need in these instances.

       

      1. Determine personality flaws: Personality differences can often create a distinct set of challenges in a circumstance. When personality clashes occur, it is critical to evaluate why they occurred and whether making some changes to your communication style could result in a more harmonious connection. However, if the challenges persist or worsen, it may be preferable to delegate communication with the client so that the project may be completed without further complications.

       

      1. Maintain control: Freelancing can be difficult, and it is always the freelancer’s responsibility to manage the process and achieve effective job outputs. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to avoid becoming entangled in a complex scenario in which tension forces decisions. When dealing with difficult clients, it is vital to maintain control and manage the conversation professionally in order to keep the project on schedule. While it’s natural to begin resenting the customer or dreading contact with them, it’s critical to set these feelings aside. It all comes down to professionalism and communication, and by keeping this in mind, it may be able to accomplish the project on time.

       

      Finally, keep in mind that all freelancers encounter tough clients from time to time. It is not an indictment of your ability as a freelancer. Prior to beginning any contract, it is sometimes possible to spot potentially troublesome clients. Consider clients who frequently haggle over pricing or change the parameters as clients who may not be worth taking on. Although freelancing is based on well-researched and reliable information, it occasionally pays to go with your gut sense.

      Also read: https://www.studentvillage.com.ng/forums/topic/6-skills-every-freelancer-should-have/

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