If there’s anything that we can guarantee you, it’s that you will deal with difficult clients, and most likely with at least one of the 21 clients from hell things that we mention in this guide.
But while there’s no way to 100% avoid that, there is a way to react so that you come out victorious every single time.
And heyyy, if you find any of these clients from hell things relate to you, don’t worry. This happens to everyone.
Here are the most common things difficult clients state or do, and how to solve them:
1. The “Someone Offered to do it cheaper” Phrase – (Most Common Clients From Hell Kind of Phrase)
…When somebody mentions this, 9 out of 10 times, they are LYING.
It doesn’t matter your budget, it’s human nature to try to get something for a better deal, even if you are willing to pay much more.
In this instance, if you decide to go down on your price out based on emotions, you have lost, and they have won…a better deal.
When someone doesn’t sound sure or mentions phrases like “someone offered to do it cheaper” or that “that’s quite expensive,” there’s nothing better than what we used in one of our emails in the past that got use the client at the price we wanted.
If they really found someone cheaper, why are they not working with them already, right?🤔🤔🤔
2. Not Answering Your Questions
Ever have questions of importance to ask that will help you and your clients, but find that your client isn’t answering them?
There are a few reasons for that.⬇️
- Clients often are super busy. ⌨️🥱
- People naturally suck as replying.👎
- Emails are missed and people forget to reply.❌
Personal experience: I’ve wrote some fantastic ideas to my clients in the past, that they haven’t answered for a week or two, and I’ve wrote some other even at times average ideas, that they have replied to instantly.
The difference? How busy they are.
Just as you have busier times during the year, so do your clients. They might be free all day on Monday, but on Tuesday, they might have meetings upon meetings to deal with.
What can you do to get a response?✅
Firstly, see whether someone has opened your email which you can do with the MailTag email tracking Chrome extension.
If you see that your email was never opened, that’s where you can send a follow-up as nobody can reply to your question if they never actually saw it. Follow-ups drastically increase the chances of your email being opened.
And if with MailTag you see that your email has been opened or that it has even been replied to, without one of the questions answered, that’s when you can bring in a follow-up, specific to that answer.
3. Clients Wanting Things Done Right Away (Something Almost Every Difficult Client Wants)
There will be times when some work will be more time-sensitive, and that’s fine.
…But if your client is telling you that he wants something done for 4 PM today, and it’s something that could have been mentioned before, that isn’t right.
And most of the time, situations like this form because there aren’t boundaries set with a client and unfortunately, because you might not be standing up for yourself.
If you always say yes to everything your client asks and says, then over time, they will think that you are there for their every need, and will start to ask things that frustrate you.
That’s where setting boundaries from the start comes in.
If this is currently happening with your current client, just state that you can’t do it in this time frame.
Personal experiences: Clients that often new to, for instance, working with freelancers, tend to forget that they aren’t the only client of the individual they are working with. Sometimes you need to set them straight and make them aware of that.
4. Not Paying the Invoice in a Timely Manner, While Being Demanding About the Delivery of Work
Have that client that wants that one thing done ASAP, that struggles to pay you in a timely manner?
There’s no reason for you to have to wait a month for your invoices to be paid.
…Even if you have a deadline set on your invoice for 30 days, there’s no reason for your client to wait the 30 days to pay you.
That’s what you call being RUDE and a client from hell.🤬
Invoices being paid late isn’t anything rare in the world of clients. In fact, it’s the norm.
…And usually, it’s the demanding clients that want something done ASAP that are the ones that pay you as late as possible.
What can you do?
With MailTag, check if the invoice you sent was opened. if it was, follow-up about it.
Majority of the time your invoices are not paid in a timely manner because you don’t ask about them enough perhaps because you think it’s rude or that you will look greedy.
…But there’s nothing wrong with wanting to pay for your bills or expenses on time.
Here’s what not to say ❌➡️ You haven’t paid my invoice yet.
Here’s what to say instead ✅➡️Hey [name], did you have a chance to look at the invoice I’ve sent on the [day]. Not sure if you’ve seen it yet. Let me know. 😊
Most of the time, people don’t pay your invoices on time because you are trying to be nice by not asking, while they simply forgot about them. You don’t get what you don’t ask for. And when you ask, they will either tell you that it’s being paid or will explain why they didn’t, making the situation clear.
Communication is key.🗣️🗣️🗣️
And when you set that expectation, things will be much smoother for you from now on.
…Sometimes, you can also try the: “Hey [name], would you be able to pay the invoice today if you can? I have an urgent family matter I need to attend. “
5. Changing Their Mind About Something They Want
There’s perhaps nothing more that sounds like clients from hell than when a client asks you to change something that they themselves initially wanted.
That’s you doing extra work.🔨
…If you had to do extra work working a normal job, that would be paid for.
Solutions to this clients from hell issue ⬇️⬇️⬇️
- In your agreements, it’s always worth mentioning how many fixes you will do to per project before you charge extra. That will make the client mention everything they want right away and will make them less picky.
- Explain why perhaps the fix is not a great idea. Remember that your clients don’t do your work so they often lack understanding.
- Call them out on their 🤬
- Loop someone else from that company on something. Just because one person doesn’t like something, doesn’t mean the second won’t. 3 IS BETTER THAN 2.
Here are a few ways to address things that you can modify for your needs:
Hey [name], great to see that you like it, regarding the change of the song, the video was edited based on the song. If I change it, we will have to re-arrange all the clips, which will take me an extra day, and might change the feeling of the video.
Of course, if you feel super strongly about changing it, I can spend a day on it during the week, or otherwise, we can consult on the song more on the next video.
Hey [name], regarding the fix, if you really want me to do it, I will, but I would like to know the reason behind it because it’s quite time-consuming to make this change.This kind of response, will make someone realize that doing a change will take a lot of time, and will perhaps unveil whether the client actually had a reason for a cahnge or whether it was a “because I feel like it” kind of change that has no merit behind it at all.
6. Expecting You to Do Extra Work
This is especially common in the freelance industry. Clients often love to do take advantage of you and get you to do extra work.
And sure, it’s just a small thing here and there, but that small thing here and there adds up to hours each week that could be used on actually making money or otherwise on spending time with your friends.
It’s not that you shouldn’t do any extra work for your clients as long-term relationships are built on helping out, but there is a fine line between helping out and doing actual extra work that you should charge for.
Most great clients will always ask you how do you want to go about extra work or mention that you will get paid for this or some solution.
But this is once again where the lack of communication is often the issue.
If your client doesn’t mention it, you need to mention it.
Otherwise, that’s where issues often form and where clients from hell are born.
…Clients will start asking you to do this and this, and as time goes on, they will start to think that what you are doing is a part of the service, and then when you once don’t that extra work, they will start to think that you aren’t doing enough, and now, out of nowhere, you have a difficult client to deal with.
7. Clients Thinking You Aren’t Doing Enough Because You Once Did Some Extra Work
We have friends that went through this issue more than a few times.
You do some extra work at one given time ➡️ Client now expects you to always do as much ➡️ They get upset that you aren’t doing enough or what they are paying you for.
This has happened to more than a few people and is something that an make clients difficult to deal with.
…But while you might want to respond in a quite aggressive way or bring up how the client actually doesn’t pay you that much for what you are doing, there are much better ways to answer, as remember, if you put fire on the conversation, it’s only going to give more fire, and that’s not what you want.
What can you do?
Hey [name], thanks for bringing up how you feel.
I would like to ask what can I do better make you feel more satisfied?
I have been delivering on our specific agreements that we initially agreed on, which are , but if you aren’t happy about anything specific, let me know.
In situations like this, it’s also important to remember that your clients are also human, and sometimes they get moody or have a bad day.
But most importantly, remember to respond in an understanding way, and a calm way. That way, you won’t create fire, and well, in most cases, you will make them feel stupid for even emailing you with what they said, and you might turn the “client from hell” into a much better relationship than before.
8. Clients That Keep Telling You What to Do
NOTHING MORE ANNOYING THAN THIS.
If you are hiring ME TO DO SOMETHING, LET ME DO IT, MY WAY.
GUIDE ME, BUT DON’T TELL ME EXACTLY HOW TO DO IT!!!
If you want the best results, I need to do it my way. Not your way.
What can you do in this situation?
Hey [name], I’ve noticed that you’ve been instructing me on precisely how you want things. I respect that you like things done a certain way, but if you hired me to help this company, I would respect if you gave me a little bit more freedom. It would allow me to work to my best.
And if you can’t solve this situation? Leave. That client from hell isn’t worth it.
9. The “This will be Great Exposure for You”
This is something that potential clients from hell love to say when trying to get your services for free.
Client: This would be great exposure for you and for sure will help you bring in more clients in the future.
Your response: We already super well established and respected for what we do. This will, however, bring you large exposure from us sharing our work for you, on our website.
10. Clients Breaking the Previously Agreed Agreements and Been Surprised by You Taking Action
“How can you expect me to pay this?”
In this instance, it’s best to mention your agreement, while mentioning that you don’t mind doing a revision here and there, but that it’s not fair for the client to expect you spend extra hours on revisions.
11. Clients Asking You to Do Things That You Don’t Expertise In
This is a simple thing to solve. Just tell them that you don’t expertise in this, and if you know someone, mention them.
…But please, don’t try to think that you must say yes to a client because they are your client.
You aren’t there to do everything for your client.
12. The “We Are Starting Out. I Can’t Pay You Now, but Once We Grow, I Will.”
This one is a complicated one.
Why? As most people aren’t serious about that and are trying to make the most out of the situation.
If you see the client is making an effort, then yes, maybe you can say yes.👍👍👍
…And the same applies to a company you really really want to work with, and that you will benefit from having worked with, in the future.
But you aren’t a charity and you can’t help everyone.
13. Clients Asking You to Do Something and Not Getting Back for Weeks, and Then Needing Something Urgently
Did that ever happen to you?
The client asks you to do something, you agree and wait for more details.
A few weeks go past, you don’t hear anything…
Eventually, a client responds, sending the details and asking if you could get it done in x days.
In this case, it’s best to respectfully mention that you wish they sent this earlier, as this will require quite some time to complete.
…But the best way to deal with this is by sending a set of follow-ups regarding the project.
Bonus Clients from Hell Things That Difficult Clients do & Say
14. Client telling you what to do when they don’t expertise in a topic.
15. Clients thinking they are doing you a favor with your working with them
16. The “why isn’t it finished yet?” phrase.
17. “I would do it myself, but I’m busy…”
18. Tell you “it’s pretty quick work” when it’s not.
19. Think they are your savior because they are giving you money.
20. Clients that boss you around.
21. Clients thinking they are always super nice to you.
Those Are Some of the Most Common Clients From Hell Problems
The best way to deal with most of these clients from hell problems?
To set boundaries at the start.
If you make things clear and stand up to yourself right way, you mostly won’t have difficult clients at all in the first place, and won’t have most of these issues mentioned here.
Don’t accept everything your client says. Question things when they need to be questioned. They will respect you far more than that, than if you are always nice.
You can be friendly with your clients, but it’s business, and nice people, aren’t always nice people. Be careful with how much you tolerate. You are teaching people how to treat you.
And remember, life is too short for asshole clients. 😉