Boss Responses

#16: How to Deal with Client Disagreements with Leslie Lang

December 11, 2023 Treasa Edmond Episode 16
#16: How to Deal with Client Disagreements with Leslie Lang
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Boss Responses
#16: How to Deal with Client Disagreements with Leslie Lang
Dec 11, 2023 Episode 16
Treasa Edmond

What happens when a disagreement or conflict with a client puts you on the verge of loosing your professionalism? Host Treasa Edmond and guest co-host Leslie Lang offer  some sage advice on the subject of client disputes and conflict.

About the Hosts

Treasa Edmond is a content strategist and consultant, best-selling ghostwriter, and podcast host. On Boss Responses, Treasa and her weekly guest hosts explore how freelancers and small business owners can navigate the sometimes tricky path of client management and communication. She also teaches content professionals and small businesses how to create SEO-optimized content strategies so they can grow their businesses by connecting with their audiences.
Connect with Treasa on LinkedIn
Follow Boss Responses on Instagram

Leslie Lang is a former journalist turned freelance B2B content marketing writer and content strategist. She specializes in writing about technology and Higher Ed and K-12. Leslie's work includes white papers, ebooks, case studies, ghostwritten articles, op-ed pieces, blog posts, and infographics for marketing agencies and clients such as Microsoft, Google, IBM, Dropbox, Adobe, Salesforce, and Verizon. Interested in Hawaii? Check out Leslie's booksMauna Kea: A Guide to Hawai‘i’s Sacred Mountain, Exploring Historic Hilo, and What Would Our Kūpuna Do?
Check out Leslie’s YouTube channel Midlife Dialogues, where she interviews people doing interesting things in midlife.

Support the Show.

Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to listen to Boss Responses. Have a question you'd like answered? Send it to info@bossresponses.com

Show Notes Transcript

What happens when a disagreement or conflict with a client puts you on the verge of loosing your professionalism? Host Treasa Edmond and guest co-host Leslie Lang offer  some sage advice on the subject of client disputes and conflict.

About the Hosts

Treasa Edmond is a content strategist and consultant, best-selling ghostwriter, and podcast host. On Boss Responses, Treasa and her weekly guest hosts explore how freelancers and small business owners can navigate the sometimes tricky path of client management and communication. She also teaches content professionals and small businesses how to create SEO-optimized content strategies so they can grow their businesses by connecting with their audiences.
Connect with Treasa on LinkedIn
Follow Boss Responses on Instagram

Leslie Lang is a former journalist turned freelance B2B content marketing writer and content strategist. She specializes in writing about technology and Higher Ed and K-12. Leslie's work includes white papers, ebooks, case studies, ghostwritten articles, op-ed pieces, blog posts, and infographics for marketing agencies and clients such as Microsoft, Google, IBM, Dropbox, Adobe, Salesforce, and Verizon. Interested in Hawaii? Check out Leslie's booksMauna Kea: A Guide to Hawai‘i’s Sacred Mountain, Exploring Historic Hilo, and What Would Our Kūpuna Do?
Check out Leslie’s YouTube channel Midlife Dialogues, where she interviews people doing interesting things in midlife.

Support the Show.

Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to listen to Boss Responses. Have a question you'd like answered? Send it to info@bossresponses.com

Treasa Edmond:

Thank you for joining us for another episode of the Boss Responses podcast. Today we're going to tackle one of those tough questions what happens when you have a disagreement with a client? My guest co-host this week, Leslie Lang, is a former journalist, turned freelance B2B content marketing writer and content strategist. She brings amazing insights to all of the questions this week and make sure you tune in on Friday when we'll learn more about Leslie, her business and how she manages her clients. Let's go ahead and jump right into today's question.

Treasa Edmond:

If you're a freelancer, business owner or anyone who deals with clients, you're in the right place. I'm your host, teresa Edmond. I've been dealing with clients and running my business for nearly two decades and in that time I've dealt with my share of doubt, imposter syndrome and not knowing what to say when a client asks a question I wasn't ready for. I created this podcast to empower you with the Boss Responses you need to grow your business. Each week, my guest co-host and I will bring you five episodes packed with practical insights. Monday through Thursday, we answer your questions, and Fridays we dive deep to explore how our co-host embraced their role as the boss of their business. Welcome to Boss Responses, leslie. Thank you for being my co-host this week. Thank you for having me.

Leslie Lang:

Our question today is this I love working with my clients. Until there is a disagreement or conflict, then I'm immediately stressed and have a hard time staying professional. How can I handle disputes without escalating the situation and potentially losing the client?

Treasa Edmond:

This is a difficult one, because the first- thing I have to say is if you're regularly having disagreements or conflicts, you need to figure out why, because that might be something that you're doing where you're not managing the client correctly. Or maybe you're just touchy, because all of us have those days. If it's a rare thing, but it just completely throws you for a loop, then I say don't respond immediately. Say this is something I need to think about. Let me get back to you If you're always on the phone. You're always on the phone. I need to think about let me get back to you If you're on a call. If you're not on a call and it's an email, leave it for 24 hours. Say I've received your email, I'll respond back to this tomorrow. Give yourself time to step back from the situation and decide how you want to answer it professionally and then move on. But yeah, at all costs avoid escalating the dispute.

Treasa Edmond:

One of the biggest things I've done and that I recommend is to not make it about the person. If the person's being difficult, or if the person says you're being difficult, then immediately switch it to the project or your business. So if it's a project related issue, say this project's very important to both of us. I want to make sure that we're in alignment on this and then move forward. If they're saying something about one of your decisions, just say that's a business decision that I've made. I'm not willing to waver on that at this point. I would like to move forward. Here are the options we have for doing that. Just be very clear, cut and dried and be empathetic. If it's a situation where you did say something maybe because all of us make mistakes that just got their backup. And when in doubt, if your client is consistently sending you emails and you feel like they're confrontational, get in a call with them instead, or a Zoom call, because some people just write really bad emails. What do you think, leslie?

Leslie Lang:

Well, that's a great point, that speaking can always make a difference. I agree with that completely. I'm going to call this a great idea. I also agree that I don't think there should be a lot of disagreement or conflict. I don't find that in my own business and if there is, then you really need to stop and figure out. Why Are you working with the wrong kind of clients? So you're working with people who are not professional, or maybe is it? You Are you doing something that's not professional, so I think you need to think about that. But yes, I would definitely suggest editors or whoever you're working with. We're all just people, and I think it's important to keep that in mind. If there's something that you're not sure of, don't let it get to that point. Talk about it, ask questions. Sometimes it might seem like a dumb question, but it probably isn't. I'm just not clear on this. Can you explain this part of it and how this works? Try to keep it from escalating into a situation that is going to cause problems and you'll be much better off.

Treasa Edmond:

Yeah, and one of the things I see in this situation is a lot of freelancers who are new to freelancing come into it with an employee mindset. So they feel like their clients are constantly telling them what to do and how to do it, and they might be because of the mindset that you're in. You might be leading them to give you instruction rather than them asking you to use your expertise. The other thing I see is the flip side of that coin, where they're transitioning from employee mindset to business leader mindset. This is my business, I'm the boss of it, and they take it too far.

Treasa Edmond:

So sometimes, if you feel like you're in that situation, look at your mindset. Where are you? Is it your thought process? Is it how you're looking at things? And if you're really trying to boss your client, that's not your job. You are the boss of your business, the client is the boss of their business and you are doing them a service, which means you're serving them on this project. So whenever you are leading your clients, you're leading almost from a position of servant leadership. You're really guiding them through the process as the expert in the process, but you're doing it very confidently, knowing what you're doing. And if you do it that way, you're much less likely to have disagreements or conflicts, because they're going to respect you as the expert in the situation from the very beginning. So that's the advice I have on that one. Any last words on this, leslie?

Leslie Lang:

Oh, I just I agree completely with what you're saying and I would say that when you're a freelancer, working with other people is as much a part of the skill you need to develop as what you're actually doing the writing or the editing or the content strategy. So it's something you don't want to cross too strong, you don't want to be a pushover. It's something you need to work on learning how to do. Very true.

Treasa Edmond:

All right, thank you very much. We'll be back tomorrow with another question.

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