There are difficult days and difficult clients in every industry. However, your ability to navigate those choppy waters and come out unscathed will put you ahead of the game every time. Here are two common problem clients along with tips on how to handle each.

The Bulldozer

  • Who they are: These people are frequently seen as intimidating. Their goal is to get their own way at any cost.
  • How to cope: Show empathy and probe their points. Try not to argue as it may make them more combative and your points are likely to get lost in the scuffle. Ask them questions about their past problems with the subject. Try to isolate their comments to their experiences. Your ability to listen patiently may be the defining difference.

The Volcano

  • Who they are: Their mode of operation is to first blame a problem on someone and then explode.
  • How to cope: Recognize that giving them the floor is your best bet to get a word in edgewise. Let them run out of steam before jumping in. Let them know that you’re interested in their concerns but are not willing to lose control of emotions to do so. Get as many facts as possible about their concerns. Focus on the tangible details as a way to deflect the emotion.

Kerry Johnson is a regular columnist for Senior Market Advisor and is the opening keynote speaker at this year’s Senior Market Advisor Expo in Las Vegas.