4 Ways to Avoid Clients From Hell

They fill your inbox with inane questions and outrageous demands.

They’re hard to get ahold of when you need them, but always manage to track you down at the most inappropriate times. (Ever been asked to deliver a milestone while simultaneously delivering a baby? No? Just me?)

They never pay on time (or at all) but they still want their stuff yeeeesterday.

They’re mean, critical, and no matter how far you bend over backwards to please them, they’re never satisfied.

We’ve all had nightmare clients. Hell, it’s almost a rite of passage. (I’ve found there’s no better way to bond with fellow entrepreneurs than with cocktails and sob stories about clients from hell.)

As entrepreneurs, it’s so tempting to take each and every opportunity that comes our way, even if they’re studded with red flags (or horns). Generations of business owners have lived by the rule “the customer is always right,” which is all well and good until the customer is blowing up your phone at midnight on a Sunday with vitriolic missives on why you suck.

What if hiring was a two way street? What if we vetted our clients like they vet us?

Because here’s the thing about nightmare clients: they don’t just make our lives a living hell, bad clients have a knack for taking down all our other clients, too. While they’re draining us and sapping our energy with endless demands and tantrums, they’re essentially robbing our clients who play by the rules.

Vetting those prospects (and, in some cases, being willing to turn them away) before they become clients from hell isn’t the selfish act of a thin skinned newbie, it’s what strong biz leaders must do to protect their best clients and their business in the long run.

In this episode of Awkward Marketing, we talk about how to vet your prospects so you can avoid clients from hell and protect your business.

Rachael Kay Albers

I'm the Creative Director and Lead Designer at RKA ink, a brand, web design, and marketing agency for visionary entrepreneurs. I'm also a business comedian and the host of Awkward Marketing, a show that blends sketch comedy and bite sized biz advice to help small business owners create epic, unforgettable brands online. Think of me as the one woman SNL of biz TV. After 10+ years living, traveling, and coding in Australia, Germany, Guatemala, Kenya, and Mexico, today I'm based outside Chicago with my husband, daughter, our two troublemaking dogs, and a bunch of old computer cords we're afraid to throw away. (You never know!)