How to Deal with a Clingy Client
Hello good reader! Welcome back to another session here at the FRR. So this blog is obviously about my life as a freelancer and all the crazy things that entails and there have been crazy things, let me tell you. I’ve done a few different things for different companies and clients and the learning process of dealing with people on a remote/telecommuting level versus an office level is certainly different.
Most of the folks that I’ve worked for have been awesome, offering feedback on projects I’ve done and so forth, but I have to say that I’ve encountered something I never have before – the clingy client.
Now, there are all types of clients that freelancers will deal with and ‘clingy Sue’ is just one of them. Who is Clingy Sue? She is the person who is constantly emailing you, calling you, texting you, messaging you, to the point where your entire day is spent just communicating with this person. Now, if you’re getting paid the big bucks to suffer this, shut up and suffer, until you find a unclingy Sue, but in most cases, you probably aren’t getting paid big bucks and again, you spent more time trying to push this person off so you can get work done.
I ran into a Clingy Sue a bit ago and OMG, talk about clingy. There are many things I hate and one of them is being constantly called/emailed/texted, especially if I don’t answer in a five-minute time period; I have a friend like that and I had to tell her that the more she called, the less of a response I was going to give. Not only is it annoying, but it severely disrupts whatever is going on.
Now of course, friends are different from clients, but still. A short phone call is okay and if I miss you, just leave a message; there are plenty of reasons why I’m not answering you. Maybe I’m on the phone with someone else, maybe I’ve forgotten to turn back on my ringer (which I do turn off at bed time), maybe I’m in the bathroom doing whatever the hell I feel like. And to be honest, I’m used to sitting in front of my computer for hours; my friends and I rarely talk on the phone, as they will most likely see me online and send me a chat message.
Maybe I got comfortable in this kind of communication style; it works better for me, as an email will take two minutes tops to pimp out. A phone call is long and unless I’m wearing my headphones or using Skype, is a one handed endeavor where I can’t do what I was doing before. And while this client was a very nice person, they were overwhelmed with their own things that it started to overwhelm me.
So what did I do? What can you do?
Researching the project and client always helps and certainly, if you get the feeling that this new client is a bad egg, go with your gut instinct. As for me, I had to cut the person loose; again, very nice individual and I felt horrible at having to drop her (especially in light of the previous two people who also left), but I couldn’t seem to get anything done and when it was done, I hadn’t done it correctly because I hadn’t been given proper instruction beforehand, as though I can read minds across the Internet (not yet anyway).
Just remember that even when you encounter the gossip, the lowballer, the ‘check is in the mail’ guy/gal, or Clingy Sue/Stu, there are better clients out there who value you your time and your work.
- Client Relationships and the Multi-Device Web (alistapart.com)
- Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff (freelancefolder.com)
Posted on July 23, 2013, in Beginnings, clients, The Business Side and tagged bad clients, Business, Business Services, client, freelance writing, Freelancer, Freelancing, freelancing tips, Self-employment. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.