The War Room
Question
Post

What are your strategies/communications styles when dealing with irrational clients?

how do you keep going when you are working with clients that will openly reject hard data / facts and are stuck with their own assumptions?ย 
๐Ÿง  Advice
๐Ÿ˜ค Conflict Resolution
๐Ÿ’ก Education/Resources
18
Incognito
WR Officer
+11
Master of Disaster
Let them get it all out. Keep them talking without contradicting anything. Ask questions about why they feel that way. Eventually they will get tired and ask for your opinion. Give this opinion and ask for their thoughts, leading them to think it was their idea and they have ownership stake in it succeeding.

Also, check your bank account balance often to remind yourself why you put up with this bullshit.ย 
ChumpChange
Opinionated
+2
Channel Manager
Truly sage advice here.ย  Always let them gas out their frustrations and play the long game.ย  Don't get into a debate about what is and isn't.ย  I also keep close to my desk a set of de-escalating questions.ย  ย "Tell me what you want me to do and then I'll tell you what I can do."
Incognito
WR Officer
+11
Master of Disaster
Had a lot of difficult clients, but they always pay the best.

"how can we solve this?"
OpalTiddyChurger
Arsonist
+10
Funbags Enthusiast
The back of my hand, hasn't failed me yet.ย 
poweredbycaffeine
WR Officer
+9
Bean Juice Drinker | Sales Savant
"You looking to get Tiddy slapped?"
OpalTiddyChurger
Arsonist
+10
Funbags Enthusiast
Winner of the internet for 2021, ladies and gentlemen and they/them. Bow in honor of such a legend in our midst.ย 
Show 2 more replies
TheOverTaker
Politicker
+6
Account Executive
For me it depends on how much that client is worth...everyone has a price. If someone spends enough money with me, I will walk their dog, take their trash out, whatever they need. If they just really wont listen to you, the expert, then let them know that you are going to do it their way, but you REALLY dont think thats best.

OR you become more irrational.... โ€œWhen the going gets weird, the weird turn professional.โ€
1nbatopshotfan
Politicker
+6
Senior Director, Enterprise Technology
Are you sure the client or prospect can be won over? If not, put it on the back burner. Donโ€™t kill yourself. If that fails, evaluate firing them. How much is your time worth?ย 
jefe
Politicker
+8
Sales Director
Sometimes it's important to qualify your prospects as potential customers, and not just likelihood to close.

Are they going to be more of a liability for your company than they're worth? Sounds like this one would.

But @TheOverTakerย has a point, money can eclipse a lot of other headaches.
TheOverTaker
Politicker
+6
Account Executive
must acquire currencyย 
poweredbycaffeine
WR Officer
+9
Bean Juice Drinker | Sales Savant
I realize that I cannot change their minds, and if they want to move forward then they will need to come to their own conclusions. Closed-Lost and think it would be nice for a zombie deal.
UrAssIsSaaS
Politicker
+8
SaaS Eater
We run into this a TON at my current company. Best course of action is always to be a sounding board and lead with empathy, not sympathy. Make them feel heard. Iโ€™ve learned that what they are yelling/being stubborn about isnโ€™t the real issue so I play armchair psychologist and ask them how itโ€™s impacting their business and what the ideal outcome is. Then you can work with the client to get them there. If the subject at hand is not critical to the sale Iโ€™ll also let the prospect know that I am happy to address for the next 10 minutes but after that we will shift the conversation to more productive topics that is a better use of everyoneโ€™s time.
InQ5WeTrust
Arsonist
+9
Sales Savages, what is our profession? Trauma!
Be willing to say no and turn them away, they're never worth the headache.ย 

I also recommend yoga and slashing their tires.ย 
CuriousFox
WR Officer
+12
Senior Account Executive
Be silent. Listen. Let them finish talking. Then thank them for their time and find a different contact in that company.
Diablo
Politicker
+7
Sales
Depends upon:

1. If they are the right ICP2. Expected business from them3. Complexity involved
In a few cases I let prospects go only to see them returning back after a few months. I also target multiple people in the same org to mitigate this situation.ย 
GrizzleMcThornBody
Politicker
+10
EVP - RevOps
Tell em theyโ€™re wrong.
LordBusiness
Politicker
+8
Chief Revenue Officer
If they are already a client, then its all about listening.ย  Whenever they get ridiculous, schedule up a call (invite some support people, maybe a VP level) and just ask them open ended questions so they can vent.ย  If in time the juice stops being worth the squeeze, and the contract is up - we move on from that client.ย 
cw95
Politicker
+6
Pricing Executive
Counter the character. Hard go hard, soft go soft. Counter.ย 

We have a client in which allllll of their colleagues argue and shout on the call (not at us).ย 

We counter it with straight talk and decision making action.ย 


Ch
ChrisSellsHisSoul
Fire Starter
+1
Owner
Always be the more professional person in the interaction. Stay calm when they yell.

It takes self-restraint in the moment, but it's always the best move in hindsight.
Co
Covfefe4ClosersOnly
VP of Sales
Are you getting tie downs along the way? Sometimes when something makes a ton of sense to us, we roll through feature/data dumping assuming they are riding the wave with us, they get tons of rebuttals. Check in often as you go, make sure you catch when they start to fall off the wagon. If they disagree in minute 2, by minute 8 it wonโ€™t matter how good you are.
FromaBlankPerspective
Politicker
+5
District Manager
Just here for solidarity and advice because I AM LIVING THIS NIGHTMARE RIGHT NOW!!


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