When I first launched Bklyn Custom Designs I wanted to help everyone – no matter what.
I quickly realized how wrong I was to launch my business with that mindset. Not only did I do myself an injustice, I misled others, in particular, my clients.
I misled them by allowing them to think they could treat me in any fashion and I would jump to make shyt happen at any cost – even my self-care & financial stability.
This was surely NOT the case. Little did I know, but walking away from bad client behavior was about to become a must for my sanity & to save my buisness.
I felt that all I did would lead them to “realize” how valuable my company and I were to help them launch their websites and retain their online business presence.
Unknowingly Creating The Opportunity For Disrespect
I messed up.
Not only did my team and I not get respect for doing what we were hired to do, and being amazing at it (we know our shyt!), but we were made to feel like we did the client wrong when we set boundaries.
Based on this behavior displayed by three different clients, I had to put an end to two abusive business relationships (the other was placed on notice) and I never looked back. Walking away from bad client behavior became a requirement.
Trying to do the most in the wrong way was detrimental – to me and my clients. Here are a few examples I learned which allowed me to know when to ditch the situation & secure my peace of mind.
Walking Away From Bad Client Behavior: Three Types of Bad Clients
This type of client will text, call, and email randomly and at all hours of the day with scattered and incomplete information. They feel that you should not only work with no clear direction from them but do it on the fly and in the blink of an eye to turn their indecision into golden opportunities of instant successes for them.
Not only is this unfair, but this also disregards your time with other clients, your personal life, and you as a professional. To continuously disregard how you want to be contacted, and when is beyond disrespectful and always leads me to wonder, how they accept their clients/customers to contact them? Are they going through the same thing and assume this should be the way for everyone? Or are they simply doing this because they feel they have access to you can they can abuse it?
Start to be clear and hold strong on your boundaries on when clients can contact you and when they absolutely cannot. There is nothing wrong with saying “no” and holding on to your boundaries.
This client wants to hire you to take air and turn it into a tangible brand with a functioning business attached. While they fail time and time again to turn over their own business information and assets so you can accomplish your goals; they blame you for them not having everything together.
It's imperative that you point out what your deliverables are and what you are not responsible for. If you don't, there will be hell to pay and the stress that comes with it will damage your credibility as the fake reviews pour in. Unfortunately, I've seen it happen to others.
Lastly, we have this client who wants to set up a one-sided “barter” agreement. With this, they expect a multi-faceted project (website, with a store, an email campaign, and incorporating video components). What makes this type of client dangerous, is the attempt to set the worth of the amount of work it would take to implement it all.
Oh, did I mention that they will have no products for their store and no idea of what they want in terms of functionality? Their list of expectations and demands grow as long as the Nile River. Umm, hell no boo. This leaves this client without a project.
When you have a taker, not only do they not plan properly, they also expect more than they bring to the table. Never be afraid to call someone out when they are taking advantage of you and an opportunity to Barter. If you know things are going left, opt-out and keep it pushing.
In the long run, the cheap comes out expensive and bullshyt walks.
These three types of bad clients created the perfect storm of chaos, confusion, and disrespect.
Part of my understanding was that I needed clarity and then I needed support.
I knew that I needed to walk away from them all, and I had to do it quickly.
I reached out to my mentor and was able to get centered and severed the relationships.
When you feel like a relationship is no longer working, it's best to be clear as soon as possible and disconnect. If you allow a bad relationship to fester, especially in business, it begins to dismantle all you've worked for. Cutting loose bad relationships may seem difficult at first, but it clears up space for amazing clients.
Walking away from bad client behavior saves you both time and frustration because you've helped to establish the boundaries you refuse to allow anyone to cross. Start by establishing what environment you want to work in early.
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