In business, the client/customer is always king, which means you’ve got to consider their needs and stay calm regardless of what they do. Right? That doesn’t eliminate the fact that sometimes, you just want to say some things back at them but you hold your tongue because…well…there’s money (and hopefully, referrals) involved!
The last blog post was on handling angry clients but this one is more about handling your own anger as a freelancer, which might actually be justified (yeah).
If you’ve been freelancing for at least a couple of months, you would be with me on at least, one of the following things:
Some clients can be, for lack of words, a little over the top. Like they come at you with all they’ve got as if attacking you was the favorite thing on their list today. Sometimes, behind the scenes, it isn’t wrong to roll your eyes in exasperation while maintaining a kind, friendly mien with the client when all you really want to say is ‘Hey, calm down!’ Sometimes, if the client would be calm enough to examine the situation, he or she might see that things aren’t all that bad, and whatever the issue is, isn’t the end of the world
I’m not a machine!
For some clients, your life must just revolve around them, or so they think. Even if its 1am in your part of the world, you’re supposed to stand up and attend to their concerns all the time. This is not to say that there aren’t days when you work late into the night, but that shouldn’t be because a client thinks he/she owns you. You aren’t a machine, and you deserve to rest, sometimes saying that might not be a bad thing (in the right words, and tone of voice of course), letting the client know that you need rest isn’t a mark of incompetence- it only means you know your limits!
I am also a human being- like you
Sometimes we make mistakes which could be attributed to a myriad of factors; overworking, a lot of other stressors apart from work, and so many other things. Truth be told, your clients only want you to deliver stellar jobs without any stories in between but this doesn’t always happen, because we’re human and we also make mistakes. You might feel like giving this client a ‘piece of your mind’ because you’ve been slaving all day and it seems like no recognition of your labor is coming your way, and the only thing you’re seeing is a condemnation of what you’ve worked so hard to do. Hey! Don’t give into that desire to lash out…it ain’t gonna help your business. Real entrepreneurs are known for being able to handle stressful circumstances such as this.
Why are you so insatiable?
I’m totally in on this one. That client who wants 15 revisions? The other one who wants to do join-join, adding so many other things that weren’t in the initial agreement and so many other examples of the insatiability of some people. These people also fall under the category of people whom you might want to get angry at as a freelancer. That being said, it would be wise to get a reasonable advance before you start working (one freelancer suggests as much as 70% down payment before she starts working- which I must say, is a good one), so that all those revisions wouldn’t end up keeping you working on the same job for an entire month.
You need to grow up!
Lastly, some clients totally need to grow up. Seriously. Throwing temper tantrums at your freelancer isn’t one of the best work ethics in the book. Instead of going on and on, complaining about little things, talking like grown-ups is a good way to establish a good rapport, understand one another and get a better job done, overall.
P.S: There are actually a couple of clients that after working with, I feel like giving really tight hugs. There is a seamless flow of work, little stress, and proper communication. Mannerisms matter and they show that they have a lot of that. Raising my glass to more of this kind of clients!