5 Types of Clients And How To Deal With Them

As an entrepreneur, you can expect to encounter a wide array of customers. Some are challenging while others are easy-going. But at the end of the day business is business. During my time as an entrepreneur, I have run across 5 main types of clients which have distinct personalities and approaches. 

The Champion

These are the ones who have skin in the game they have had their ups and downs in business and clearly can identify their needs vs. wants; they also pay well, are easy to deal with, and will often send random gifts of appreciation. They are usually mentally free and understand their position in the marketplace and have made an impact in their industry as an expert and trendsetter.

Tips on working with them

  • Keep open communication and stay in contact!
  • Results are all they want. Keep with the facts. You don’t need to convince them of the value you bring, either they need what you have or they don’t.
  • They are very clear on what their next level is so when approaching a champion makes sure you understand their business model and their motivation. Champions want to stay champions so if you can assist them in marking their territory you will be retained for a large fee, as long as you produce.

The Heavy Weight

These are the type of clients who may have a downfall somewhere or the fear of a downfall happening. They need to be held accountable. These clients need specific things done in a specific set of time, or they are looking for a product that can do it for them. This particular client is all about growth and mental stability. Heavyweights are very busy and don’t have much time for amateurs so please show up confident and you must be able to articulate the what, why, and how you plan to support them with your product or service.

Tips on working with them

  • Be very detail-oriented.
  • Their time is everything so make your communication via email and phone structured and have an outline on what you want to discuss
  • If you are pushing a product make sure you explain to them the warranty, guarantee, and the benefits
  • Suggestions are key. Give them suggestions on ways that they can work smarter, shorter, and faster.
  • They love random cards and gifts. Remembering their birthday or anniversary will mean getting a long term contract. 

The Light Weight

These clients value your relationship and are extremely excited but worried about working with you. To be honest they also expect discounts and freebies. They are scattered in doing too many things and still trying to find their signature style. You must be clear with them on the position you will play when it comes to supporting them. They can easily try to make you do things that are not in the contract and may tend to abuse your time if you allow it.

Tips on working with them

  • Offer a discount that is comfortable with you, this way you are not feeling resentful.
  • Make sure they understand the amount of work that you are doing. 
  • Be clear on how much time you are devoting to them and don’t go beyond the time limit. This will help them appreciate your time.
  • Ask for payment from the beginning, this will avoid being placed in an awkward position.
  • They are easy to befriend you so make sure you separate personal conversations with the professional conversation. Monitor the flow of the conversation and keep the business conversation about business and personal conversations about personal stuff.

The Feather Weight

These are your business owners who are very attentive and careful. They take everything seriously and have dealt with some people who may have misled them. They must be dealt with very carefully and require a lot of hand-holding and explaining. 

Tips on working with them

  • In this situation, you must be professional but also personal. You can lose them if you are too business-like and you can lose them if you are too friendly.
  • Don’t tell them what to do, make suggestions. They are mentally and emotionally sensitive so they can smell a phony from a mile away.
  • Keep reaching out to them, they may not buy what you have to offer on the first go-round, so you need to continue to market to them over and over and over again, but it will be worth it once they sign on.
  • Present yourself as the trusted advisor and continue to show off your business “know-how”. They will often ask for advice, ask you to do stuff and you can invoice them for it, as long as you let them know that anything outside the scope of work agreement will be billed.

The Golden Gloves

These clients in my experience and observation will try to avoid paying. They may blame you for things not working out in their favor, they may call you every day for you to explain yourself or why this is working or not working, these clients want you to do everything for them for a ridiculously low price. These clients are in basic training and will come out fighting if they sense you are not people-pleasing them. If you are not in the friendship business then keep I mind you are not in this to make friends you are in this to make a difference and to make money. Don’t get stressed out by irate, non-paying clients who do not want to recognize your value.

Tips on working with them

  • Be crystal clear on whether you can support them or not. Make sure you ask them what their expectations are. This will help you identify whether this is a client that wants the moon and the stars.
  • Invoice their calls. This will likely limit the number of conversations with no substance and they will spend more time focusing on their business.
  • These clients expect you to answer your phone every time they call so make sure you are clear on your client business hours and advise them to make an appt with you. Try using scheduling apps for online scheduling.
  • Give them a contract and a plan of action.

Please share any client horror/success stories and tips on how to deal with them? We love comments so please share!

Lucinda Cross

Lucinda Cross is an entrepreneur, motivational superstar, and bestselling author who tells it like it is. If you want inspiration, authenticity, and straight talk with business and personal development leaders, then Lucinda Cross is your go-to. She is a Certified Business Coach, and TV Lifestyle Expert, Lucinda Cross is the CEO of two personal and professional development companies, Activate Worldwide LLC. and Activate Your Life.org brands, which include The Big ASK, WE Nation, and Activate Your Life Leadership training.

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