Phone: (917) 699-1284

Judgment calls with perspective clients by Sherri Rosen


Sometimes there are low points in business relationships. Things do not go the way we hope them to, the public isn’t pouncing on the new project, or the economy just stinks. This is normal, and most of us work through these difficult times.

But what happens when you have made a bad judgment call with the type of client you work with? What if you’ve seriously misjudged someone? At first, they seemed honest, down-to-earth, and clear-headed. They were sweet, polite, respectful. They appreciated your approach to business and the work you do, and  greatly valued you, the project and your vision.

But what if hopes and expectations were not clearly communicated, and you didn’t know it? What if they were not being up front and honest from the get-go? And what if you say something and it triggers ‘em, and they explode like a bombshell. What if you had no idea what you were getting into. What if…they are psycho?

How do you protect yourself? Can you Google stories about them? Are your contracts with them protecting you and your company? Do you have a good lawyer? What’s your track record with past clients?

When is high time to throw in the towel with the client? When is it time to withdraw? You’ve given it your all. You’ve tried to be accommodating.

It can be difficult to make good judgments on the type of clients you work with, and sometimes what seemed like it would be a good fit, just isn’t.  Also, get reference on folks that contact you through any of the social media sites.  You really don’t know one another except for a certain persona folks put on these social media sites.

There are no formulas for when to end a professional relationship. But there are red flags, signs to watch for. And if you experience more than a few consistently, it might be time to pull up stakes. Sometimes the wisest thing to say is, “I really love the work you do, but I don’t think I’m the right company for you. I wish I were, but I’m not. In many cases if there is a big red light I will not even recommend to them anyone I know and respect.  Just wish them good luck and send them on their way.

Bookmark and Share

Tags: , , , , , , ,

This entry was posted on Saturday, January 5th, 2013 at 9:30 am and is filed under Clients, Friends and Colleagues. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One Response to “Judgment calls with perspective clients by Sherri Rosen”

  1. Becky Blanton Says:

    Sherri, this is why Betsy Wuebker and I wrote “The Narcissist at Work” and I started a website by the same name! Narcissists act just like you described! Charismatic, then suddenly turn psycho the minute you disagree even mildly with them. There are questions you can ask during your intake that reveal whether a person is narcissistic or unbalanced. You can also structure your contracts to allow you to make a fast exit if things go south. I ask my clients to write down their expectations before we start, then I say, “I want this to be a wildly successful project, but my idea of wildly successful means nothing if it doesn’t match your idea of success. What do YOU think wildly successful looks like? What specific, measurable things would have to happen to make it a success? If they can’t tell you, after some talking and suggestions, then they don’t know and your chances of success are slim. “I’ll know it when I see it,” is not an answer. This process always triggers my intuitive side and I often walk away or refer out at this point. It doesn’t mean they’re a bad person (unless they’re a narcissist), it just means they’re not right for me. Good post!

Leave a Reply




  • Google Plus Link
  • Twitter Link