Warning: troublesome clients are

Heed the tale of the troublesome client. The one who:

  • starts off with a demanding email, saying that they desperately need help by this weekend
  • tries to lock you into an hour-long "interview" on the phone, once you respond to that email
  • insists that the project is a five alarm fire
  • but can’t afford to pay you what you’re quoting and asks for a discount
  • tries to get you to tell them what to do before they sign a contract
  • says they can’t possibly get you a deposit in time
  • tells you they’ve already interview half a dozen consultants and "no one seems to know enough to handle this"

If a client seems like trouble at the beginning, there’s a very good chance that they’ll turn out to be a major pain later. Over the years, I’ve learned to turn and run at the first sign of trouble. I know to trust my gut. Most of my clients are dreams to work with. But every once in a while, I meet a prospective client who gets my spider senses tingling. And that’s when I say, "No thanks. It’s not a good fit" — and move on.

In my next post, I’ll explain how the last "troublesome" client helped me create a new policy that has spiked my earning power.