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How to Deal With A Difficult Client

A difficult client is every virtual assistant’s worst nightmare. These clients call excessively and are always changing their mind. These clients can be rude, disrespectful, and even worse, may want you to lower your rate. So how do you handle a client like this?

Stay Calm – This is one of the most important things that you can do when you’re dealing with a difficult client. It is also a lot easier said than done.  Try to remember that clients have bad days too, and maybe you’re the scapegoat. Above all else, do not lose your temper.

Losing your temper can cause you to say things you shouldn’t. This may not only cause you to lose the client, but it could damage your professional reputation.

Know What You’re Worth – It is easy to underestimate yourself. Decide what you are worth and do not let clients talk you into lowering your rates. A difficult client may try to get you to do more work than you initially signed on to do or may try to get you to accept less pay. They may try to do this in different ways and may even attempt to lay a guilt trip on you. Don’t fall for it. Stay strong, firm, and consistent with your rates. This way, you can earn the respect of even the most difficult clients.

Get It In Writing – Always have a contract. Make sure all the work you will do for your client is in the contract. If the client wants something different or wants to add something, then draw up a new contract to be signed. The contract is your protection. If the client is being difficult and refusing to pay by the date you had agreed upon, then the contract allows you to take the client to court if you have to.

Save everything that you do. If you write a correspondence letter, save a copy. Keep emails. Anything that you do for the client that you have a copy of, keep. This way clients cannot come back later claiming you didn’t do something and they do not have to pay or want it redone. You can simply show them that it was done. Never back down when you’re showing a client that you have done the work or let them bully you.

Sometimes, It’s Not Worth It – There are times when a difficult client is simply not worth it.

Sometimes you will be able to work with a client who is being a challenge because you can prove to them you are worth your rates. Difficult clients are sometimes the best ones to have – once you earn their respect.

Other times, a client is simply too difficult. Is that really worth the problems? In some cases, it might be. The pay and the project may be worth the hassle. In other cases, it isn’t worth it and you could replace the client. You may find a client who can pay less but is a lot less hassle. On the other hand, you may even find one who pays more and is a dream to work with.


  1. I have to completely agree that sometimes working with a client who is difficult is just not worth it! If you let go of problem clients, you make room in your schedule for your ideal client!
    Stephanie Watson recently posted..Need administrative work but don’t want to hire anyone?My Profile

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