Some Like It Hot: The Client From Hell

We’ve all had at least one. The client that enjoys turning up the heat. Tight deadline? Make it tighter. Big bodacious project? Refuse to invest the resources required.

Or, as a reader recently shared, the former Walmart buyer who is in a constant battle to win the lowest price on every project.

We’re talking clients who thrive by creating chaos, not those who must simply lead the way through it (we love those folks). What’s an advisor to do?

Remember Google is your friend. Or, if you’re an attorney, you may have access to deeper intelligence with the right database. Potential clients who exaggerate or lie can often be found out with a few mouse clicks.

Ask around. Consistently difficult clients tend to have a rap sheet. While you want to beware of substituting someone else’s judgment for your own, past behavior is an excellent predictor of future behavior.

Listen to your gut. When a preliminary phone call makes the hackles on your neck rise, it’s time to pay attention. By all means, get the skinny on the person/situation, but we all know what happens when we ignore our gut.

Bottom line? Don’t be the frog in the slowly heating water—jump before it’s too late.

Image credit: Joanna Ciolek


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