A consultant use to be a guy or gal who was temporarily out of work and looking for a job. If that is the definition, then I have been a “consultant” for nearly 30 years. Cool!
But, as long as I am “wearing the hat,” I will continue to give my opinion when asked.
Q: MIke, how do I handle difficult clients when they are virtually driving me to tears?
A: Let’s first define a few terms. Define “difficult.” Define “driving.” Define “tears.” Then, you can probably answer this question yourself. But, if “difficult” means royal pain in the ass, and “tears” means crying either to yourself or out loud, and you really believe you have given this client your best effort, then I say “fire them.”
Of all the advice I have shared over the past 30 years, this is the single recommendation that has not been adhered to the most. This is the single recommendation that should be adhered to the most.
All people are not created equal. I did not invent that one. Some people skipped too many Sunday School Classes. Sad but true. Some people were not taught by their parents how to communicate with any semblance of maturity. Some people … seem to insist on being jerks. There, I said it.
We teach our children that they will be judged by the company they keep. News Flash: So will you.
You asked. I answered. If you have given them every benefit of the doubt, and they still insist on practicing borish behavior, bid them a pleasant day and hand them directions to your best-loved competitor. Have enough confidence in yourself knowing that you can replace their position on your client list in short order. Don’t be a chump. Fire them before they fire you.