Some clients are dream clients. They trust your promo expertise, they respond quickly, and you just simply click with them. Some clients can be more challenging. They may act like they know promo better than you. Or, they may treat you disrespectfully or have unrealistic expectations.

Knowing how to manage these difficult clients requires certain skills. Fortunately, you can build those skills and eventually turn taxing relationships into rewarding ones.

J.C. McKissen, a LinkedIn Top Voice, recently highlighted a few tips from “Dealing With Difficult Clients in B2B Sales.” We outline the suggestions from his post in this issue of PromoPro Daily.

1. Keep your cool. This is rule No. 1 when dealing with difficult clients. Instead of going off on them, remain calm. When you keep your emotions in check, you can respond more thoughtfully and avoid burning a bridge. It’s important to stay calm even if the client is wrong. Before you send off that snippy email or say a few choice words to your client, McKissen says it’s best to take a deep breath and keep cool.

2. Know the kind of challenging client you’re working with. Not all difficult clients are the same. For example, you might be working with someone who is genuinely nice. This becomes challenging when they can’t decide anything. The way to work with this client is to guide them with your promo expertise. If you’re dealing with an analytical buyer, which can be challenging because they want to know every last detail and feature before they buy, go into every conversation knowing it may take a bit longer. You should also have all your research done so you can answer any questions this client may ask.

3. Don’t overpromise. If your client is expecting more than what you can deliver, you’re setting the stage for uncomfortable conversations. Always make sure your clients have the right expectations, McKissen says. From cost to delivery times, they should know what to expect.

4. Visualize success before a client meeting. When dealing with difficult clients, it helps to imagine your interactions with those clients going well. You have to envision success before you can go out and grab it, McKissen says. If you go into a conversation expecting it to go badly, you could kill a discussion that may have gone exceptionally well.

5. Mirror the client’s body language. If your client sits, you should also sit. And if your client stands, so should you. When you mirror your client, McKissen says you begin to reduce the physical and psychological barriers that can help feed difficult relationships.

Difficult clients can put a major strain on you and your team. Not only can they crush your morale and productivity, but they could lean to turnover if you’re dealing with an especially contentious client. Before it gets to that point, consider the tips above. You can make life easier for everyone involved and smooth out those prickly relationships.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: J.C. McKissen is the CEO and founder of McKissen + Company, a marketing and communications firm. He’s also a LinkedIn Top Voice.