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Kshitij Patil .

NOT MY CLIENT: What kinds of clients from hell to AVOID!

I've been an entrepreneur since I was in the Third Year of my College. All I ever did was focus on sales. Eventually, I understood Marketing and Branding as well.

As time went on, selling became easier, I needed to prep lesser and lesser (unless I had to sell a new service, that is). I started to realise that even though my skillS grew with experience and feedback, for certain types of clients, just because I COULD close the sale, didn't mean I SHOULD.

Not to bore you with more prose, here's the kind I now avoid:

1. PROPRIETORSHIPS: These tend to be small and run by a one-man show who is good at the trade/product, but may or may not have exposure to how an agency/outside counsel works. They are also quite bad at payments, picky about results and overall finicky about options.
It is almost impossible to get late payments out of them and if they disappear, you can't find them.

2. HAGGLERS: You value your time and craft at a certain $ amount. It is your job to explain to the potential clients why you're charging what you're charging. But if you get a stone-walled answer of "But the other guy charges....", don't waste your time on them. Doesn't matter how rich/stable/big they look, if they're haggling, they're not only going to pay you late, but also make your life miserable to sign off on the deliverables. Because IF you somehow do manage to convince them at your price, they would enter the deal (unknowingly) trying to "vasool" their "poora paisa". You don't wanna be stuck there.

3. WEAK SPoC/PARTNERS: If you feel that your SPoC who introduced you to the client/is handling you are not well respected within the organisation, you either need to find another ally at the firm or just walk out. If they don't respect a particular employee/partner, they're gonna find it hard to respect their choices (viz you in this case)

4. NON COMMITTERS: Some clients take you onboard but are almost immediately unresponsive. They may be genuinely busy or simply bored. Eventually, you'll see that the inputs/commitments from their side start delaying. That's a red flag. In such cases, even with a stellar performance, they tend to find you replaceable and although your delays may be a day's or task's worth, their delays of weeks are very quickly ignored.

5. SELLERS: These are the types who start convincing YOU why it's beneficial for you to work with them than the other way round. In such cases, always ask questions like what did you not like about the last agency's work and check it out for yourself. If the work seems okay to you, and you feel that the rationale of firing them doesn't add up, be rest assured that history will probably repeat itself.

Of course, exceptions exist, I'm not discounting them. And yes, these ARE generalizations and not scientific theories. Just some thumb rules for the new crew so they don't get ripped off.

POLL: Which type have you come across the MOST?
HAGGLERS

NON COMMITTERS

SELLERS

PROPRIETORSHIP

WEAK SPoC/PARTNERS:

Originally Posted Here
9 Comments

Faisal Zia Anwer

Anindya Mishra which one would u go by?

Anindya Mishra

I think hagglers but also non-committers

Kshitij Patil

Which one of those do you feel is the worse?

Anindya Mishra

Kshitij Patil the non committers. Cause for me the hagglers are just coming with objection and handling that solves the price issue. Then comes them paying late, so we haven’t had that issue cause then there is handling for that as well. BUT.. what do we do if someone is responding late? Cant help it. Someone mess up your system, is worse for me.

what’s your pick ?

Kshitij Patil

For me the Weak SPoC and Non Committers both take the cake because the others you can avoid on enquiry level or during the initial discovery. But the realisations with others may come to light a little later in the picture. By then it's almost rude to ask for a switch of handlers or even walk out of the project.

Aryan Dutta

I came across a Haggler last month

Kshitij Patil

So what was the verdict?

Aryan Dutta

simply put they start delaying payment, which completely drains my energy.

Kshitij Patil

Very true. The follow ups and the empty promises and silly reasons are just so damn hopeless.

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