I work with a multitude of different people each day. Some more than others. Some are easy-going, some are high strung. I can only imagine where I lie on the spectrum. Regardless, when i am dealing with these people, no matter what mistakes they make, what they like, what they dislike, the only thing that matters to me, is that they are engaged with me, right at this moment and understand and hear what I need.
I am well aware that the people who sell me product (music bed companies, voice talent, producers etc) have many clients…that’s just how it is these days…everyone works for themselves…including me. BUT i am also aware that somewhere deep inside of me, I feel like I am or should be the most important client that merchant has ever known.
I of course, know this not to be true…but there is something driving me to always hope that I am.
I believe this just to be the human condition when doing business and there is nothing you can do to change it.
Which brings me to a point about dealing with you clients (ie: who you sell your wares to), as opposed to your merchants (ie: people who sell you their wares).
Sometimes it can be frustrating when a client has outrageous demands, oversteps their bounds and asks for things that are inappropriate to the agreed upon deal. Case in point: a client has agreed to a large amount of quantity in exchange for a smaller price. A fine agreement. But along with a smaller price, comes an implied agreement…that re-do’s, tiny fixes, script changes and the like, comes another payment. The smaller price does not leave any room for such extras.
So when someone violates that implied agreement, and puts pressure on you to deliver at a loss or lose their business as a consequence, one is always tempted by the same thing. The need to convey to the client, that you don’t need them. You have many clients, just as everyone else does. You don’t need the hassle, you don’t need the stress.
All valid points…if you are a child.
But seeing how we are business people, and the business is who we are, and we must do what’s right for the business, caving into knee-jerk reactions is counter-productive.
This particular client, is saying more than his/her words…they are saying that they don’t feel heard. Not particularly by you, but by anyone. You just happen to be the one in front of them at the moment. This is not your fault, but you must deal with it in a mature way for the good of your business.
This is all well and good, but your desire to show you don’t need them will still be there. I received good advice about this a while back, and so far, it’s working. When faced with the decision to tell your client that you don’t need them, or simply resisting…do both!
Begin to type out an email with all the things you want to say…say them all, use capital letters and exclamation marks! Be sure to note that you don’t need the client at all and that they need you…and be sure to picture the look of horror on their face when they read your email and realize they are totally lost without you.
Then…delete that email immediately.
Next step…feel better that the urge is gone…and get to work giving the client what they need. Tell them that you hear them, understand their needs and will do all you can to fulfill their request…and what you can do to help with the extra cost. Because, there IS an extra cost. Figure out what it is, explain why and proceed with the request.
If they leave because of it, there is nothing you can do. But they didn’t leave because you were childish, rude, or off the handle…they left because THEY were childish, rude and off the handle for disregarding the contract between you two. The latter is a much better situation to have than the former…and you should be glad that they are gone…like a marriage, no good relationship ends in divorce…only the bad ones.
If of course they DON’T leave, you have just confirmed that your stance AND your agreement with your client is strong and true and is deserving of your tact, warmth and listening.
For the good of your business (your business being anything from a one person voice talent, to a large corporation) don’t lose your cool…because even though it might feel good in the instance…the good feeling wears off when you lose your client.