Monday, April 5, 2010

Dealing with Clients (and not taking it personally...)

"Time to Go" by Michelle Ciarlo-Hayes

Life as a business owner/wife/mother/daughter/sister is complex. When a client in any of the aforementioned categories becomes difficult, it's hard to not let it overwhelm your day (not that any of us would ever dare complain about our mothers...). In keeping with the "when it rains, it pours" adage, every business owner will, at one point or another, experience those days where she feels she can do nothing right. Every client has a problem, question, or concern and each of those concerns can feel like a personal attack.

Take a deep breath.

They are not out to sabotage you, make your life miserable, or toy with your emotions. They have no idea that twelve other people have chosen this very day to change their minds, complain, or have an emergency that you need to fix. They are simply looking for a receptive ear and a creative mind to help them cross their hurdle. Often you'll learn something of value from taking a moment and listening, rather than preparing your own response while they are still speaking.

Still feel like you're slowly going insane? Before you decide to pack your bags and run away from the business world forever, take a minute and vent to a fellow Stella and Mimi member: no doubt she's having the same kind of day you are. Tell her all the things you wish you could say to your troublesome client, and have a good laugh. Stealing a piece of chocolate from your kids' Easter basket always helps too...