It is pretty common for entrepreneurs to experience dealing with clients who are so unpredictable with how they behave. There are characteristics or tendencies of problematic clients every entrepreneur wants to avoid. For example, clients who keep ‘forgetting’ payment, or those who treat you like you are their personal therapist, or, those who keep demanding things outside of your work agreements. Every time you deal with those kind of clients, you feel like getting 10 years older because it takes a toll on you both physically and mentally.
Why many entrepreneurs seem to keep problematic clients
It is also not uncommon for some entrepreneurs to keep their problematic clients due to many different reasons and one of the most common one is money. Some discomforts you feel when dealing with problematic clients may be temporary. However, it is better to cut them rather than get stuck in toxic relationships that make you difficult to sleep, lose wages, get bad testimonials. But how to identify problematic clients from miles away so you can avoid them in the first place.
See from how your potential clients show themselves up
If you have potential clients who keep coming late or rescheduling your meetings multiple times, it is a red flag already. The way they show up is like a preview of how they will behave when you are officially working together later. You can call them out for their behavior but make sure to do it professionally. Explain to them why you don’t think you are fit to work together. Tell them with how they keep coming late or rescheduling it may indicate they are not ready to work with you.
Observe what your potential clients say
During meeting with your potential clients, ask them important questions to reveal their personality as well as work ethic. You can ask about their previous experience working with other professionals in your field. If they keep speaking badly about their previous partners or spilling personal details about them then it is a red flag you should notice. From the way your potential clients speak, you can read between the lines and you can analyze yourself what kind of person they actually are.
See if your potential clients know a person you know
If you know a person/colleagues who have worked with your potential client, make a call to find out more info about them. Hence, your colleagues will alert you if there is any trouble spots. If you don’t know any colleagues who know or worked with your potential clients, you can search for it yourself. You can look it up on LinkedIn to reach out any valuable intel.
Check the vibes
It is important to trust your guts to see if you can detect problematic potential clients. If you feel discomforts, it is enough to call off the plan. Your body may show signs of discomforts through headache, queasy stomach, heavy chest, etc. If you experience those signs during short interaction, imagine what will you feel once you have to fully work with them.