What do you do when a client doesn’t follow your advice?
I was discussing this with a subscriber-friend via email recently. He said: “You fire them. . . I can get clients who make me happy. If a client makes me unhappy for an hour, I can’t get that hour of my life back.”
Yes, but, if the check clears, I’m happy. If I can say, “See, I told you not to do that. Maybe you’ll listen to me next time,” I’m happy. If I can charge them even more to fix the problem they created by not following my advice, I’m happy.
Okay, it’s not that clear cut.
Clients can make us unhappy in so many ways. And they do blame us when things go bad, even when it’s not our fault and we have the CYA letter to prove it. And clients do make us want to tear our hair out when they post nasty-grams about us on social media.
So yeah, we should be prepared to fire difficult clients, and replace them with clients that make us happy.
Fortunately, most of our clients are decent and follow our advice most of the time.
But it wouldn’t hurt to spend a little more time explaining the reasoning behind our advice, making sure the client understands that reasoning, and agrees to do what we recommend.
And maybe we should be a little more tolerant when they don’t.
As long as the check clears.