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Please Listen in to the Profit By Design Podcast on your favorite podcast player. Here’s just a few of our favorites:

Practical Steps for Handling Difficult Clients and Customers

Have you ever found yourself scratching your head wondering how to deal with someone who has a very difficult personality? Dealing with a difficult client, customer, or team member is a situation that a lot of us encounter in business because we deal with different personalities all the time. I have identified three types of personalities that are typical of difficult clients and customers: those who have strong personalities and want things done their way, those clients who just don't make decisions, and the clients who fail to give you what you need when you need it so that you can do the work for them. We are diving into these scenarios in today’s show, and I’ll give you the language for these conversations. Most importantly, you’ll learn how to prevent these difficulties from coming up in your business, regardless of the varied personalities of your clients. Join us for practical and helpful advice!

I want to remind you about our Better Business Better Life Jumpstart that begins on January 8. The sad truth is that you may already feel burned out if your business has taken over your life. If this year resulted in working on the weekends, working during your family vacation, missing a sporting event with one of your children, or saying no to family dinners, you need this workshop! If you've put off your dreams, skipped regular workouts, and been regularly sleep-deprived, we can help! You will learn to develop a growth plan that delivers and how to design your business to be sustainably profitable. I will walk you through how to calculate the profit potential in your business and design a plan for profit in the year ahead—and for the years to come. I’ll show you how to discover profit that is hidden in plain sight and see a clear path for simplifying to grow, which will free up your time. There is no charge for this free workshop, so sign up today!

Profit by Design is a Tap the Potential Production.

Show Highlights:

  • How to prevent the problem of dealing with difficult clients:
    • Identify qualifying criteria for clients and customers and notice red flags.
    • Niche down to a clearly defined sweet spot in your business.
    • Get in front of the problem with screening questions during client onboarding.
    • Offer monetary incentives when deadlines are met.
    • Strategically build the education process for clients.
  • What to do if you have difficult clients right now:
    • Use face-to-face conversations and phone conversations (over texts and emails) with documented follow-ups.
    • Use the language of support rather than judgment.
    • Give them a checklist of deadlines for crucial decisions.
    • Lay out clear expectations with incentives.
  • How to have the “This is not working; we cannot serve you in the future” conversation
  • How to handle the client or customer who causes stress for your team by not meeting deadlines and making decisions
  • How to handle the client or customer who tries to take over and will not follow your process

Links and Resources:

Give us 20 minutes of your time, take the Better Business Better Life Assessment, and receive a free paperback copy of my book, The 4 Week Vacation®️.

Learn more about our courses, Coach Approach and Leadership Bootcamp at

Our Better Business Better Life Jumpstart can help your profitability in every way. The next session begins on Monday, January 8. Sign up today!

Join the Tap the Potential Community on Mighty Networks:

Let us help you and your business! Book a call with us today!

Let us help you manage your time, your most valuable resource! Get your FREE copy of the Tap the Potential Strategic

Planner for 2023 at

Download Dr. Sabrina’s Introductory Training: How to Make Your Time Worth $10,000 an Hour


About The Author

Dr. Sabrina Starling, The Business Psychologist and international best-selling author of the How to Hire the Best series and The 4 Week Vacation™, is the founder of Tap the Potential and host of the Profit by Design podcast. At Tap the Potential, we work to free business owners from the constant demands of a growing business.

We believe work supports life, not the other way around. Clients in our Better Business, Better Life coaching program have more time for what matters most and more money in their bank account than they’ve ever had. Next, we send them off on a 4 Week Vacation™ to celebrate their hard-earned journey to take their life back!

Dr. Sabrina and her team at Tap the Potential are on a mission to change the story of entrepreneurship from one of long hours, grinding it out, to one of sustainably profitable businesses that support and enhance life. The Tap the Potential Solution™ and our Tap the Potential Family of Business Owners are disrupting small business as usual. We are on our way to making the Tap the Potential Solution™ the mainstream model for growing business.

By 2023, 150 Tap the Potential clients will have taken 4 Week Vacations. These are the trailblazers, role modeling what’s possible for entrepreneurs. In many entrepreneurial circles, it is becoming more and more common for one entrepreneur to ask another, “Have you taken a 4 Week Vacation™?” (as opposed to asking “How many employees do you have?” or “What is your annual revenue?”). Taking a fully unplugged 4 Week Vacation is rapidly becoming the recognized symbol of entrepreneurial success.

Never one to accept the status quo or back down from a challenge, Dr. Sabrina’s How to Hire the Best series grew from her desire to solve the toughest hiring challenges interfering with her clients’ growth and profitability. What sprang from her experience working with entrepreneurs in rural areas catapulted her into becoming the world’s leading expert in attracting top talent in small businesses—no matter what hiring challenges those businesses are facing—and earned Tap the Potential’s reputation as the go-to resource for entrepreneurs committed to creating Great Places to Work with thriving coaching cultures and highly engaged team members working from strengths.

As The Business Psychologist, and with her years of driving profit in small businesses, Dr. Sabrina knows what it takes to find, keep, and motivate exceptional performance out of your biggest investment—team members.