Over many years of dealing with clients, from large brands, to Poodles Pooch Parlour (not a real company name) down the street, I’ve had my fair share of run-ins with what I would describe as difficult clients.

As I gained more experience, I began to treat my initial client meetings with the attention they deserved. This made me reflect on my earliest client run-ins, and I came to realise that it was not always fair to label that client as a ‘difficult one’. It sometimes takes ‘Two to Tango’.

If I had taken the time to listen more, gain more insight into what their company was really about, what they were about as a person, that friction between us wouldn’t have manifested itself later down the line.

That’s not to say that you can listen intently, take an abundance of detailed notes, really dig deep into what they want, for them not to still turn out to be a pain in the ass. But for someone starting out and hoping to avoid friction/misunderstanding/fractured relations, later down the line, most of that can be avoided by just listening, like really listening to your clients wants and needs, and guiding them correctly from the very beginning.

Check out the original article below for a flowchart that can help with making up or breaking up with a difficult client. Taken with a pinch (or handful) of salt I might add.


The relationship between client and designer can easily be fraught with difficulties. Money, feedback and deadlines are some of the main pain points when it comes to looking at why a professional client-designer relationship has broken down, but how can you tell when it’s time to call it a day?

Read the original article here.