How to deal with a challenging client?
Have you ever wondered what it may be like to deal with a difficult client while in the event business? Maybe you have already experienced a difficult client and you would like to have a guide to help you through the planning process. The following information that is provided will help you through these complicated times while dealing with a difficult client.
As an Event Planner you have to have strong people skills and this falls under basic communication. Communication is the key when dealing with a difficult client. The following information will help guide you through steps during the process.
- Always make sure you let your client know how you work.
- Document concerns in writing.
- Find a solution to every concern on the list.
- Review the list of concerns and the solutions to the problem with your client and make sure you have them sign-off on them.
- Always share your comments from experience and try to make things work regardless if your client is not cooperating.
- Have help of interns or young professionals who need experience to work closely with the difficult client in order for communication to be perfect. (This will also help with a better understanding of both needs).
It is extremely important that your client knows how you work and set some rules and standards as soon as you agree to work with them. Have your client sign a proposal stating that if you do not agree on certain things that you as the event planner can refuse to work with them at any time during the event process. By documenting the concerns in writing, helps the planning process go smoothly and that everyone involved in the planning is all on the same page. You may want to include these details into the proposal in the beginning and have your client sign the form, just in case you need a future reference. This will help with communication and will give your client a better understanding on how the process will work. Make sure your client knows ahead of time that you are willing to find a solution to any problem(s) that may occur during the planning process and during the event. When you are a few weeks away from the event to take place make sure you review the proposal with them to make sure everyone is on the same level and be open for any feedback that may come up. Be willing to introduce any other ideas you may have and make sure you have it in writing for your client to agree upon new ideas as well. As the event planner you should do research and explore as many options as possible while dealing with this certain client. By exploring your options and showing diagrams, color schemes or any additional detailed information provided for review for your client will help make a difference. Some people are visual and even-though speaking about ideas sounds good and all, it doesn’t actually mean you and your client are on the same page. I recommend: To be as clear as possible and use images and diagrams. Layouts of the venue and how you’d like something set up will give your client a better understanding and will help communication. It is also important to be open to your client’s suggestions. If your client suggests something, make sure you give them a reasonable answer to why or why not you like idea or not. By taking the time and doing your homework with coming up with new ways or ideas should make your client appreciative for all your hard work. I feel this shows that you care and passionate about your work.
Now that some tips are out of the way, try to focus more on your client’s needs and work closely with your staff and intern(s) that came aboard to help you with this client. By communicating effectively and getting the major points and needs wanted for their event will help everyone in long run. Always remember to keep calm and be professional no matter how stressful the situation may get. Communication is the key to everything and by having the correct skills you can accomplish any difficult task and client that comes along. Get out there and make your impression last on new potential clients and Happy Planning!!!