Maintaining a professional attitude will help when dealing with difficult clients.

Q: What is the best way to deal with a difficult client?


  1. Three main types of real difficult clients
    1. Ones that are just plain difficult and treat everyone unfairly
    2. Clients that play difficult to get something extra out of you for free or get a discount
    3. Clients that feel that they have been mistreated or that they will be mistreated
  2. Get out of the emotions
    1. It hurts our pride when people talk about our work in a bad way – don’t let those emotions play in the discussions
    2. Take a step back and try to see the big picture – why is this person being difficult
    3. Try to understand their side
  3. Take the right approach
    1. First, always talk about the work, not the person
    2. Start by assuming they are just feeling mistreated and that needs to be correct – it’s normally the case
    3. If they are still being difficult do what’s right but stand your ground – don’t give away work

Key Questions:

  1. How do you deal with difficult people?

  2. Do you maintain professionalism?

  3. How can you improve your handling of difficult people?

Take-Action Items:

  1. Remember to step back when someone is being difficult

  2. Don’t take anything personal – even if they get personal – don’t even discuss it

  3. Try to understand from their side

  4. Do the right thing then stand your ground


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