Dealing With Needy Clients

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JJ Parker  0:02  
Today we are talking about needy clients. Indeed, I'm sure we all have experience with clients or customers that are just way over the top and hard to deal with.

Melissa Albers  0:16  
Yes, I know I've had my fair share.

JJ Parker  0:18  
When I was Yo, young programmer, I often had to do tech support. And holy cow tech support was so hard because yeah just felt so like, abused, right? Like the customers call me like, your thing is broken. And this sucks and you need to fix right now. It's like, Yo, this energy Yeah, is so intense

Melissa Albers  0:43  
and over and over every time the

JJ Parker  0:44  
phone rings. And

one time I remember I got a call from someone on the east coast and I actually had never really dealt with someone who was from the east coast and like, it felt so harsh to Sure, right. And I just couldn't get my energy to a point where I could even yell.

Melissa Albers  1:05  
Yeah, that's super interesting. So really oftentimes being pushed into a reactive state with a client who's amped up or angry or unhappy about something is certainly really challenging and we can feel really pushed around here. Like one of the things that's super important for us to think about in this conversation really is about what is it that they're heading giving you and what is it that you are taking? Yeah, and there's a big difference between the two things.

JJ Parker  1:33  
Yeah, and you know, I always like to remember remind myself that that customer that's coming at us fairly upset, probably has their own yes things going on

Melissa Albers  1:48  
and they probably have a reason they're upset. something's not working.

JJ Parker  1:50  
Yeah, for for for us on the tech support side. It might be like, Yeah, you've got a small technical issue for them. They might be like, if this doesn't get fixed, I am losing my job. Right. Exactly. always remembering and having a little bit of empathy for for customers that might be coming at you. Yeah, partially Yes, that they've got their own story.

Melissa Albers  2:10  
Yes, I really, really like that and making the distinction between what they're giving you doesn't mean that you have to take all of it, you can not accept all of the emotion behind it. And there's different ways of handling that. Right.

JJ Parker  2:22  
And, you know, when someone comes at me with that energy, like I take that on for a moment, right? Yeah, I really, uh, really kind of Yeah. affects me

Melissa Albers  2:31  
you have a reaction?

JJ Parker  2:32  
Yep. And I have to sit there with his eye. Okay. That was just my reaction to their energy. Yes. Once I understand I have that reaction. Yeah. Now I can move on and actually get down to business. Right? Yeah, get back to a positive energy and actually help,

Melissa Albers  2:47  
right. I think too. When we're talking about clients, a lot of times we can feel like we are beneath the client like we are, you know, we are there to serve the client and we all want to serve our clients. We all want good relations. ships with people. But a lot of times it can go to an extreme where we feel like we're actually beneath them or we're not as good as them.

JJ Parker  3:08  
Yeah, like, I'm just paying you to get this work done. You know, you're just the consultant like, get Yeah, get going. And that doesn't feel good.

Melissa Albers  3:15  
No, no. So if you're in a position with a certain client in which you may be feeling like that, again, recognize all the skill sets that you have that have brought you to the role that you are, and really understanding that you are providing them a solution, even in the moment if they are caught up in their emotions. Your awareness is such where you can allow yourself to not be caught up in that same emotional drama.

JJ Parker  3:38  
And we're going like getting yourself to a point where, hey, you're not subservient to them, you're maybe more in a partnership with them thinking about it as, hey, I'm helping Yeah, maybe grow their business with them. It might be from a consultant perspective, but, you know, I'm part of the team to

Melissa Albers  3:57  
write and finally, I think there's also the long term relationship where you do such a good job, people love you so much that you now feel like you can't get away from the client. The client just feels like that they cannot go on unless they are checking in with you or it's you specifically that they speak to every single time.

JJ Parker  4:15  
They just need this one really important thing. On a Sunday afternoon,

Melissa Albers  4:21  
when you're having a family reunion with people you haven't been with for 10 years,

JJ Parker  4:26  
which feels good, like wow, I really needed they really value my input. But at some point, you have to set some boundaries. Like I can't be on call 24 hours a day for your every single whim like I appreciate it. Yes, yes. Really kind of smothering?

Melissa Albers  4:41  
Yes, and setting boundaries with clients, whether they're great clients or not great clients, setting your own personal boundaries is a really, really healthy thing to do. And it actually helps people respect you more if you're willing to say, I would love to help you. But here are the ways in which I have to say yes or no. And here are the other things that I have going on. Just up levels, your game. As well

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