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5 Types of People Who Don’t Make Good Clients


I recently read an article titled “The 7 Types of Guys Who Don’t Make Good Husbands”. I read this article only because I wanted to see what it said and get a good chuckle… but it got me to thinking about how a lot of it applied just as well when looking at “ideal clients.” 


I know to some of you this might seem odd. “any paying client being a good client” as someone once said to me. But in reality,, there are some clients that are really best to pass on to someone else, as my friend Jami tells me. So, here is the list of not-so-great-clients I came up with. 

1.    THE KNOW-IT-ALL or I KNOW YOU ARE THE EXPERT,BUT… The client who, though hiring you as an expert in your field and saying he needs help, still argues with everything you say. In fact, you cannot have a conversation without an argument (or heated discussion).  


For me, this is equivalent to the guy you date who can never admit they are lacking in knowledge. They're the one who always has to be the authority on everything and know everything.  


So, if this is the case, then in my mind, you don’t need me and my expertise… just go do it yourself!!!


2.    THE CHEATER..  “Once a cheater always a cheater” This is the client that hires you, but then immediately calls someone else to discuss what you are doing or the service you are offering to see what this other person says about it. 


And then doesn’t tell you he has done this, but mentions recommendations this other person has made (because they want his business) as if they are his own. And asks why you are not including these things. So this guy is similar to the KNOW-IT-ALL in that you spend a lot of wasted time explaining things over and over again.


3.    THE CON ARTIST… He swindled his evil boss, or the last consultant he hired, is proud of it and tells you about it. Or worse yet, he swindled a customer of his own, or wants to do so. He just wants to sell things, and make money and really doesn’t care if his customers benefit or not. Run from this one. He cannot be trusted at all.


4.    THE ADDICTED TO WORK GUY… He works 24/7, and naturally expects everyone else to do the same or at least everyone else working with him. There are no boundaries, and he will call you any day, any time, day or night. This is even worse because he is expecting 24 x 7 devotion, when he has simply hired you as a consultant and you have based your fees on working so many hours a week on his project. He just doesn’t get this at all.


I have had to actually say,”look, I am not charging you the same fee as I would if I were working as a full-time employee for you. If you want me to work full-time for you, then  let’s discuss it.”


5.    AND HIS OPPOSITE - MR. LAZY…  This is the client who has promised to get you some information you need to do the job. Without the information you are dead in the water, and yet week after week, you get nothing.  


I know many people who might say, “Oh well, he is paying me and he knows I cannot go forward until he gives me what I need, so it is his problem, not mine.”  I say no to this, not only because it is a waste of my time, just to even have to continually ask for what I need, but also because it poses a scheduling problem. How can I schedule the work if I do not know when I will get the items I need to do the job?


In addition, I worry about being paid for not doing anything… this always comes back to bite you. I can just hear this client talking to someone else.  “Oh yeah, I hired her, and for 3 months she did absolutely nothing."


To wrap this up… I actually love 99% of my clients and enjoy working with them, just so you know I am not an old sour puss. I recently read a great book relevant to this topic called Raving Fans by Kevin Blanchard.  


So, do you have a client you love??? Or do you have ones you can add to this list? Let me know. 


Tags: clients

Filed Under: Business Coaching and Lessons Learned

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