When project drama ensues, contractors are often vilified while their clients are seen as the victim. If you have worked in the construction industry long enough, you have probably dealt with a few difficult clients. In fact, you could probably spot them a mile away.
At times, you should avoid doing business with certain clients or you could find yourself seeking the services of a West Palm construction lawyer. However, a difficult client doesn’t always mean walking away from a project. Sometimes you just need a strategy to help you successfully handle the relationship. In this two-part article, we will share signs of problematic clients and how to tactfully deal with them. Part two will conclude our series.
They Are Indecisive
An indecisive client can be difficult to work with. They often say they want one thing but change their minds later. If the client is not sure about their desires, it will be impossible for you to meet their needs. Since you are the expert, you can educate the client and provide guidance to help them come to a solid decision. To guard against a dispute, be sure that you are getting everything in writing from the estimate to payment terms to changes orders, and do not perform work unless it has been documented and signed.
They Have Trust Issues
Just as a helicopter parent hovers over their children, this type of client does not trust that you can do your job. They are always around giving their opinions and questioning your decisions. Keep the lines of communication open with this client and inform them of the project’s progress often. If you learn to anticipate their questions, you can have an answer at the ready.
They Are Looking for a Bargain
Be prepared to negotiate because people are always looking for the best deal for construction services (this is especially true for residential construction). You can handle this situation by structuring your prices with a little wiggle room while maintaining a firm bottom line. Another option is to offer to reduce the project’s scope by decreasing the workload or using more affordable materials. Be prepared to walk away from a project if the prospective client is unreasonable. Never lower your prices below what you are worth.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.