How to tell a client they are wrong
It comes a time when one has to tell their client that they are wrong. Will it be difficult? Definitely. Will it the most awkward moment of your day? Absolutely! Fortunately for you, we’ve compiled a detailed guide on how to it. Follow our handy tips, and you’ll increase your chances of not getting fired.
What type of client are they? You’ve probably encountered all sorts of clients and in the process assigned them a category. Some of them are pleasant and open-minded while some are stubborn and lack communication skills. Use your prior experience to assess the client and predict their possible reaction to a correction.
Don’t do it!
Now that you have completed your assessment, it’s time to set the stubborn ones apart. Don’t lie to yourself, that client from hell isn’t worth the struggle. In this case, you should either walk away from the project, if you can afford to or just let them make their mistakes. This is the lazy way out of this predicament.
Educate the client.
There’s no better way to change someone’s mind than enlightening them. This can be achieved by showing them an article, report or simply sharing your previous experience. It very important that the client feels as though the decision is theirs once you have educated them.
Empathize with the client. Emotional intelligence always goes a long way when handling difficult situations. In this instance, you should try and use your empathy to understand the client’s preference. In most cases, it will help you figure out something you hadn’t before. For example, imagine that your client is a widow who wants pink and green fittings because they remind her of her late husband. Empathy will help you understand that those matching colors mean much less than the memory of a loved one.
Check your tone!
The solution to your problem could be as simple as using the right tone. Think of a child who wants a slice of cake. The child will lower their tone when asking for the cake and chances are very high that they will get it. This technique works better in person than on an email.
Play the fool.
Most suggestions are rejected as they come off as rude. In this regard, you should try and play the fool by making your client feel as though they are the expert. You can then ask for advise from them while secretly pitching your brilliant idea.
Ask a third party.
If you and your client can’t conclude, it is advisable to ask a third party to help out. It is essential to ensure that this person is held in high regard by your client. Don’t be surprised or disappointed if the third party goes with your client’s suggestion.
Put your reputation at stake.
Just ask your client to accept your suggestion based on your standing as an expert. Ask them politely to trust in your judgment and experience. They are paying you for your expertise.
Bring out the proof.
You’ve been trying to find a polite way of telling your client that they are wrong and that isn’t getting you anywhere. It’s time to grow a pair and prove them wrong. Take out your evidence and disprove your client’s assumptions.
We can’t promise you that you won’t get fired, but a reasonable client should accept that they are wrong and take your changes.
You might be wrong. If you thought that the situation was awkward wait until your client pulls out their cards and proves you wrong. They might have a better understanding of the respective industry than you do. You might be the stubborn and close-minded one. Don’t worry; the professional thing is to apologize and admit to your fault.
These are simple steps that you can have in handy when dealing with a client when you don’t agree with his/her points of view. Hopefully, you will get yourself out of this situation without ruining the relationship you have with your client. Goodluck!