How To Save Yourself From The Wrong Client 


Anxiety is a normal part of business, and most of us manage our emotions pretty well, using those feelings to inspire or motivate. However, if you have a sinking feeling in your gut at the thought of one client or have difficulty facing a project because you must interact with this individual, that is not normal—you have a wrong client.

You may already be in the process of working with a difficult client, and it may feel like your choices are limited or that you have none, feelings sure to exacerbate your situation and lead to depressive thoughts and hopelessness. There are always choices!

You Can Manage This Situation

You can to take control of all aspects of your business—from the money to the clients—literally starting today. …Even the difficult aspects. When you feel like your back is against the wall and the difficult client is “ruining your life,” there are things you can do to manage the situation and change the effect on you.

This person may seem like they are in control, pushing you, but youare the one behind the reins of yourbusiness. A well-run business will impact every facet of your life. Get yourself back on track with the following steps to find peace within the chaos of a wrong client until you can extricate yourself:

  1. Keep detailed and updated scope of work. For a few reasons, you’ll want to focus on the work:  One, focusing on the work keeps your perspective and reminds you that this project is just one part of a bigger picture. For another, difficult clients often challenge your process and will register complaints about your progress. Worse, they usually engage in “scope creep,” adding more and more to the original project expectations. The log of your efforts will protect you against this.

  2. Communicate often and keep it in writing. Communication will be the best way to manage difficult clients because you leave nothing to assume and you have records to prove / reference. Written updates, check-ins, and reminders leave nothing to the imagination and provide consistent and professional records.

  3. Look for next logical break in the process to stop work. You don’t have to stick it out. Look through your referral network for someone who could pick up the next steps, give them contact information, and enact your exit conversation. If you missed it, check out this blog on how to disengage. This is also a coping mechanism—if you know there is an end-point, you can do anything temporarily. 

Bless And Release

You chose to start an interior design business with the purest intentions to provide services that no one else could offer. You made a bold and brave move to take charge of your life and follow your heart. But sometimes, despite your rock-star interior design business plan, you encounter a difficult client. Sometimes, a person challenges everything you know about yourself and your business, and you feel lost.

Listen, difficult people exist in this world, and it’s not a matter of ifbutwhenyou encounter them. Don’t take it personally, don’t take it to heart, and don’t let it push you off-course. You have everything you need to be successful—your interior design financial statements give you the real picture of how you’re doing, not one person’s opinion of you. 

These are the exact issues we dig into in The Designers’ Inner Circle. Check it out and join us.

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Michele WilliamsComment