5 Tips for Dealing with Difficult Clients

client relations client retention clients clients for life difficult clients sales sales coach sales strategy May 04, 2022

What would you consider to be one of the most difficult parts of sales? If it hasn’t come to your mind yet, dealing with a difficult person has to be one of them. In these instances, it feels nearly impossible to close a deal, and most of all, it can really hurt your feelings and feel discouraging. 

Well, what  if I told you that there are some things you can do to keep your cool, AND still close a deal when faced with a difficult person? Keep reading to learn 5 of my top tips. 

#1 Don’t take the bait

It’s so hard to not bite your tongue when you start to feel attacked by someone or feel as though their attacks are getting too personal. 

No matter what you do, don’t react. Reacting and engaging with a difficult person can cause even more of a stir. 

Instead of sulking or letting the attacks get to you, let them be. You can even physically remove yourself from the situation if you have to. Remind yourself that there are people out there who would love to talk to you. You already have the proof, so stay prepared and don’t give in. 

#2 Stay calm and professional

Even when someone is being rude to you, it’s always important to take the high road. It shows a lot about who you are as a person, especially as it relates to your character and your brand. At the end of the day, your goal is to build a relationship with somebody, not diminish the relationship or steer someone in the wrong direction. 

Don’t let their negativity deter you from the idea that building a relationship with them is possible. At the end of the day, their rudeness is a result of something else that is going on—it has nothing to do with you. So, keep calm and don’t let the negative interaction force you to completely give up at that moment. 

#3 Use ‘I’ statements, not ‘You’

When dealing with any difficult person that you’re trying to build a potential relationship-based sale with, you want to do what you can to prevent adding even more fuel to the fire. 

Sometimes we do this unintentionally by using “you” statements which may make the other person feel as though they’re to blame, which could cause more defensiveness on their part. 

Try using more ‘I’ statements and explain things from your perspective. By doing so, you’re taking the initiative, trying to steer things back in the right direction, all without raising any tension. Don’t be afraid to suggest rescheduling or carrying on the conversation at another time when the tension has lowered.

#4 Set your boundaries

If there’s one thing you should take away from this list, it’s to never allow anyone to overstep your boundaries. 

To best do this, you need to set some boundaries first. Simply walking away from someone who’s being rude to you or stating to them that you won’t allow them to speak or disrespect you in any way is completely fine to do. 

You have every right to dictate what is and isn’t off limits. At the end of the day, you’re a human being and setting boundaries is a form of respect and care to yourself—no one else. 

#5 Ask a friend, colleague or boss, “What would you do?” 

Asking for help or advice in a situation like this is NOT a sign of weakness. It shows a lot of strength and resilience on your part because you’re giving the situation careful thought and taking a step that could help you get closer to closed sale. 

In an event like this, don’t hesitate to call a friend, colleague or boss and ask them what they would do in a situation. Express how it made you feel and get their opinion on how best to address it. Doing so not only helps you get a bit of the situation off your chest, but it allows you some time to step into the right mindset on the next steps you’ll take to address the situation once you get off the phone and back out the door. 

The bottom line 

Here’s the bottom line—Dealing with difficult people is hard, but it’s an inevitable part of the journey as a sales professional, entrepreneur and in life. 

Sure, you may not have ended up closing the sale no matter how calm and collected you remained, but knowing how to deal with them is the key to your personal and professional growth. 

Remember not to put any pressure on yourself at all, or let one difficult person ruin your day. You’re going to continue growing and closing sales.

If you want to check out this blog in video format, watch the latest training!


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