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The price of being a bad client

6a0147e05adc32970b01b7c91d7013970b-320wiIt sounds funny, but there is, or should be, a price to pay when we are less than pleasant, respectful, kind toward those we have hired to do a job. Just because we pay people doesn't give us the right to be rude, irritable, condescending or mean. I am reminded of this by my children when the seventh junk call of the day comes through and interrupts my day because it has a spoofed area code that "may be someone I want to talk to." They remind me that people don't typically set out to take terrible jobs because they get joy from it. They do it to put food on the table. Take that up to professionals we hire for accounting, our legal needs, sales training. They welcome you into their office in hopes that they can help you solve a problem, help make you more money and lessen your burdens. This is difficult when you arrive in attack mode carrying the weight of your day or week, misunderstandings, or even fear. Stop. Breathe.


Check their motives and be reminded they want to help. When they succeed for you, you'll tell others - hopefully - and they will get new clients. They are motivated to help you succeed.

Check your own space. Before a meeting, make sure you aren't hangry, tired or worked up due to low blood sugar, new meds or your previous meeting, phone call, text or email. 

A client of mine has this sign on her desk. She says that in five years she's only had to invoke it once on a client's invoice. It immediately disarms those sitting with her in her office and usually makes them smile, take a deep breath and usually a photo of the sign.

I think the fee is low, but it would cover a decent lunch to recover from being berated, attacked or disrespected. 

Pulling my own covers, recently a solicitor came to the door. We have a "No soliciting" sign on our gate. It was a rough afternoon, and I was less than kind as the dog was barking, phone was ringing and I was already on a call. I was very rude, all but slammed the door and told him to read the sign. I saw my children's faces - as they were in my home office during summer - and I knew I was not a great model of ideal behavior. I walked out the door, found the man and apologized. No, I didn't listen to his pitch, but I wished him well. He was stunned and truly appreciated it. He had had a rough day too of trying to remain friendly as he did his job.

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