Dealing with an entitled client can be a challenging task for any entrepreneur.
They take up too much of your time and don’t meet deadlines, they make unreasonable requests, or you just have to deal with the general unpleasantness that comes from working with someone who thinks he/she is special.
Trying to find a balance between what the client wants and what you want can be tricky. You have to walk that fine line of being assertive without offending them, but it’s not easy.
These types of people may be your worst nightmare, and they’ll certainly test your patience if given the chance.
If you’ve had enough of these people and want to learn how to deal with them effectively then this blog post is for you.
We’ll share some tips on how to handle entitled clients so that they will leave satisfied without feeling as though their needs have been ignored or dismissed entirely.
1. One way to help eliminate this problem is to establish clear boundaries at the beginning of your relationship.
Be honest with yourself about what you’re willing to do for the sake of a paycheck. Just because a client pays you doesn’t mean you’re indebted to work on their timeline or be at their disposal.
Know your boundaries and be consistent. This is the important part. If you hold every client to the same standard, it will be easier to hold your ground when one starts presenting ridiculous requests or being disrespectful.
2. Be honest with the client about what you expect.
We make it clear that whether you are a business owner, prospective executive assistant or team member of Priority VA…we expect you to be ALL IN.
We don’t want to work with people who are lukewarm. We know we are going to give our all, so we want the same from the people we work with or the assistants we place.
If we can tell a client isn’t willing to do the work we expect to make the relationship work with their EA, we call them on it.
Make your expectations known, be consistent and document it in your guarantee or contract.
3. Have a plan for when a client is being unreasonable or difficult to work with
If a client pushes your boundaries, how will you respond? It’s easy to enforce this step if you already know what you are willing to put up with. We always believe in giving a client the opportunity to correct their behavior.
We’re honest with a client when we see behavior that doesn’t align with our standard or values. If we don’t see behavior change or improve, we provide another warning and alert them to any fees or consequences.
For example, one business owner had a history of flaky behavior with our team. After finding four prospective EA candidates for him, he didn’t show up on interview day. Because this wasn’t his first misstep, we told him that if he wanted us to continue our search, he’d have to pay our fee all over again.
Not every client is a right-fit client. Remember, their entitled behavior is not a reflection of your business, service offering, team or expertise.
How have you dealt with entitled clients? What was your response?