When and How to Let a Difficult Client Go Guilt free #6 The Client Won’t Take to Your Professional Advice
When and How to Let a Difficult Client Go
In this series of blogs, I’ll give tips on how to deal with a difficult client, or “Sack then”
The Client Won’t Take to Your Professional Advice.
Your clients know their own business and their customers inside out. You shouldn’t try to tell them about their own bread and butter, even if you don’t agree with all of their methods. However, when it comes to web design, online marketing, social media, development ― or whatever it is they’ve hired you for― this is your area of expertise. Which means you’re entitled to expect them to heed your advice on these topics.
You can’t expect clients to take every single suggestion you offer; sometimes, they will be attached to their own ideas or heavily influenced by outside sources. Or what you’ve proposed might not quite fit their brand or customer base.
If they consistently discount your advice on issues that are fundamental to your chosen profession, it can get very frustrating. Examples might include:
- Clients who refuse to incorporate accessibility into their site despite your objections.
- Clients who reject your site designs in favour of one they’ve knocked up themselves or had their kids do.
- Clients who disregard your determination to make their site responsive, claiming that their visitors will all be on a desktop.
- Clients who ignore your recommendations on usability because they have an ‘instinct’ for these things or ‘know better.
- Clients who override your input on what platform to use for their site, based on research they’ve done in their spare time.
Remember that you can’t expect clients to align with your ideas all the time ― it’s their website, after all. However, if you find that a majority of clients are sidestepping your advice, you may need to reevaluate your own communication skills and improve your persuasive abilities.
Clients consistently refusing to accept your recommendations can be demoralizing and eat away at your confidence and vocational understanding. It can also lead to a finished product that you’re ashamed to have worked on.
Unfortunately, this has happened to me. In the early days of my agency, I had an unbending client with such stringent ideas (which I caved to) that the resultant website was something I wanted no association with. I removed my credit line in the footer.