What Makes a Difficult Client?

Posted on in Blog

“And the Oneupweb award for most difficult client goes to…”

Seriously. We aren’t giving that award.

Yet as much as “Be Relentless” is our modus operandi, and failure is not an option, we have seen projects fall apart due to difficult clients.

And so in the spirit of awards season, with nearly 20 years of experience behind us, here are three ways a client could earn the award for most difficult client.

1. A most difficult client doesn’t have clearly defined goals.

There’s no way around it, and we aren’t going to pull out overplayed Zig Ziglar quotes to chuckle our way towards making a point. We need clearly defined goals. Without them, our project is in serious trouble.

2. A most difficult client doesn’t listen well.

Difficult clients are either convinced they already know all of the digital marketing answers, or they engage projects with little more than weather updates and affirmations. This cannot happen.

3. A most difficult client doesn’t have any time.

I know. We’re all busy. We’ve all printed out a weekly view of our Outlook calendar to impress our kids (Guilty as charged. My in-laws saw it as well).

What I mean is that difficult clients don’t have time to involve themselves in the life of the project. They observe from the bleachers, offering little more than spot checking and anecdotes (“I searched our company name, and…”). If anything, time is only wasted on these projects.

But wait! There is a way to avoid these…difficulties.


Our best clients know what it means to collaborate.

Our best clients work hard to clearly define goals, and they bring them to the table to collaborate with our team to set project targets, and hit project marks.

Our best clients actively listen to what is happening within the project…good, bad, or great…We understand these clients are the experts at what they do, they understand that we are the experts at what we do, and we collaborate each step of the way towards project success.

Our best clients roll up their sleeves, and take the time necessary to collaborate with us. Project success always starts with strategy, and our best clients meet us in the trenches to define a strategy that wins.

We at Oneupweb want to work with clients who are willing to collaborate.

The return on that investment is an award we all want to win.

Let’s get started!

{Image Credit: Leonardo Ho Flickr}

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