It's Time to Break Up With ClientZilla!
If you're a Virtual Assistant who has worked with a ClientZilla (ie: HORRIBLE client) then you know how much stress, anxiety and actual, physical pains in your head that it can cause. It's happened to me. In fact, I worked with a dragon client for an entire year once - because I thought the money I made was worth the torture I endured. But *hint* it was NOT worth it at all.
The day I broke up with that client felt like the weight of the world being lifted off my shoulders...and I made a deal with myself to NEVER let it happen again. As soon as I let my demon-client go, I replaced them with a FABULOUS client that I have happily worked with for over 10 years.
Here are the signs you might be working with ClientZilla and need to move on...
- Everything is an 'emergency'. I get that there are actual client emergencies sometimes and I am always happy to remedy them. But when a client repeatedly asks for 'emergency' help after hours...or when they refer to minor issues as 'urgent' over and over? Then it's time for me to say 'Sayonara'.
- Boundary Pushers. I communicate to my clients upfront, and repeatedly what my office hours are (8am - 4pm) and the best way to reach me (email). So if a client continuously asks for my help at 9 pm or texts me at 6 'o clock in the morning looking for my assistance? Then they can take their demonic self someplace else. It's not only disrespectful but absurd to expect an assistant to be available 24/7.
- Unreachable Ghosts. This is one of my least favorite client characteristics: When a client gives you a project or task with a deadline...but can't be reached for hours (or even days) at a time. If a client has not given you all the information you require to complete a job...and they do not return your emails or calls? Then you absolutely cannot be expected to meet their deadlines.
- Invoice Dodgers (ie: Late Payers). I once had a client who did not pay their invoice for 8 Months. It was a small job and the invoice was $400, but for 8 months it sat unpaid. I sent reminder emails twice a month...I figured it would never get paid, but I sent the reminders anyway (mostly to annoy them because I'm vengeful like that...LOL). One day to my absolute surprise and delight - they paid it! Within an hour I got an email apologizing for 'being late' and then asking me to complete another job for them. My answer? No thank-you.
- Micro-Managers. It's cool when I first start work with a new client that they want to check up on me, make sure we're on the same page. But eventually, I expect to earn their trust and take on more responsibility. I once had a client who wanted me to send him the recordings of my phone calls and to install a 'big brother' type app on my computer so he could 'watch' me working whenever he wanted. That is a HARD no for me.
- Ridiculousness. This last type of client is the hardest to describe so I'll just go with Ridiculousness. These are the clients who request things so ludicrous you just CAN'T EVEN DEAL. Like the health coach who requested me to share her 'Anti-Vaccine' Facebook posts on my own, personal Facebook account. Or the brand new client who requested a meeting to tell me that, although I completed all the work he requested on time and exceptionally well...he wanted to 'feel more love from me' when I emailed him. Hmmmm.
The moral of the story: If a ClientZilla is stressing you out or taking advantage of you...I promise you will feel infinitely better by letting them go and making room for the amazing clients to come!
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