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15 Types of Agency Clients and How to Handle Them [Infographic]

[fa icon="calendar"] 30-May-2016 10:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva

difficult_clients_and_how_to_deal_with_them.jpgWe are all in the services business. You don't agree? Then think about all the people you need to please directly or indirectly - clients, potential clients, co-workers, bosses and subordinates.

This is most prevalent in professional services companies, especially agencies because this is what they sell – their knowledge and expertise in a particular service area rather than a product, e.g. marketing strategy, PR and digital comms management and implementation, website build, SEO optimization etc. All things that at first sight are intangible but extremely important to a client.

I’ve worked in five different agencies across Germany and the UK and I know firsthand how difficult clients can be. Even now on the other side where I consult agencies on how to grow their businesses with HubSpot and inbound marketing, I still face demanding and energy and time-consuming client situations all the time.

Learning how to properly handle those comes with experience because you are dealing with real people and everyone is different. The situation or issue might be the same, but the people you are working with have different characters, understandings, behavior and expectations. And they don’t care that you have other clients, they don’t even think about you or your situation, they want to feel special and have their issue solved now. As I always say, the client is king, right?

At the end of the day, this is what makes a client-facing job so diverse, but also challenging and demanding. And fun. Let’s not forget that. Work has to be fun and it's people that make it fun – among your team and your clients.

Below you’ll find an infographic with the 15 types of difficult clients and scenarios that I’m sure many of you have already encountered. Some of the situations definitely made me laugh and think about how when I had one of those reacted or what I did.

The great thing about this infographic is that it gives you soundbites of how to act in each of the scenarios. You can even print this out and put it on your desk or wall. It’s basically the quick reference guide to difficult clients and how to handle each situation.  

Overall, if you want your clients to respect your time and efforts, you’ll need to learn to say “no” more often and set expectations correctly. These are my two big learnings from the below infographic and from years of working in a client-facing environment.

Now, let’s laugh a bit and get some quick tips on how to deal with demanding clients.

Enjoy the infographic and its learnings!

15 Types of Agency Clients and How To Handle Them


Are there any other types of clients you can think of?  


You want to be even better at servicing your clients and showing real results? Check out the HubSpot Agency Partner Program!

Want to be a better agency? Check out HubSpot's Partner Program


Topics: Agencies

Iliyana Stareva

Written by Iliyana Stareva

Iliyana Stareva is the author of Inbound PR - the book that is transforming the PR industry. She's also a keynote speaker and a consultant in inbound and digital for fast-growing companies and agencies. Currently, Iliyana is Chief of Staff to the EMEA President at ServiceNow. Before that, she held global and EMEA-wide positions at Cisco and HubSpot. She is also certified by the PMI as a Project Management Professional (PMP)®. In her free time, you can find Iliyana writing for her blog, dancing salsa or travelling the world.

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