How to disagree with a client without ruining the relationship?

27 April 2022
https://nakatomi.pl/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/0022_How-to-disagree-with-a-client-without-ruining-the-relationship_-1280x880.jpg

 

The client-agency relationship is a delicate one. It requires both parties to be open and honest with one another, but the balance can get tipped if it’s not handled well.

Disagreements can happen during the process of negotiation or operation, which can lead to an argument or disagreement that could result in a bad word-of-mouth review for your business.

What to disagree with a client in a way that doesn’t damage the relationship? Here are our tips:

 

1. Avoid getting personal

When you’re disagreeing with a client, it’s important to keep things professional. This means avoiding anything that could be construed as a personal attack.

For example, if a client is being unreasonable about their budget, don’t say something like, “Well, if you can’t afford our services, maybe you should just go without.”

Instead, try something like, “I understand that you have a limited budget. Let’s see what we can do to work within that.”

 

2. Don’t make assumptions

When you’re disagreeing with a client, it’s important to avoid making assumptions about their wants or needs.

For example, if a client asks for a design that you think is too busy, don’t assume that they don’t know what they’re doing. Instead, ask questions to get a better understanding of their vision.

 

3. Be respectful

When you’re disagreeing with a client, it’s important to be respectful of their wishes. Even if you don’t agree with what they’re asking for, you can still show respect by listening to their side and giving them the time to explain their point of view.

Let’s just say, for example, that a client wants to use a very bright color in their logo. You may not think it’s the best idea, but if you explain your concerns respectfully and offer some alternatives, they may be open to hearing you out.

 

4. Avoid ultimatums

When you’re disagreeing with a client, it’s important to avoid using ultimatums. This is when you give the client an ultimatum, or threat, to get them to agree to your terms.

For example, you might say something like, “If you don’t agree to our terms, we’ll have to walk away from the project.”

Ultimatums are usually the last resort, and they can often do more harm than good. If you find yourself in a situation where you feel like you need to use one, it’s probably best to just walk away from the project.

 

5. Use “I” statements

Using “I” statements is a great way to disagree with a client without coming across as confrontational.

For example, instead of saying “You’re being unreasonable,” you could say something like, “I’m having trouble understanding why you want to go with that option.”

“I” statements help to diffuse the situation and make it less about winning and losing, and more about finding a resolution that works for both parties.

 

6. Be willing to compromise

In any relationship, there needs to be a certain amount of give-and-take. This is especially true in the client-agency relationship.

If you’re not willing to compromise, it’s going to be very difficult to find a resolution that works for both parties. For example, if a client wants something that you know is not possible, see if there’s a way to meet them halfway.

 

7. Keep yourself cool

It’s important to keep yourself cool when you’re disagreeing with a client. This means avoiding anything that could be construed as a personal attack.

If you can keep your emotions in check, it’ll be much easier to find a resolution that works for both parties.

 

8. Be assertive

When you’re disagreeing with a client, it’s important to be assertive. This means being clear and direct about what you want or doesn’t want.

For example, instead of saying “I’m not sure if that’s a good idea,” try saying something like, “I don’t think that’s a good idea because…”

Being assertive doesn’t mean being rude or aggressive. It just means being clear about your position.

 

9. Don’t make threats

When you’re disagreeing with a client, it’s important to avoid making threats. This is when you try to blackmail the client into agreeing to your terms.

For example, you might say something like, “If you don’t agree to our terms, we’ll go public with what we know about your company.”

Threats are a last resort, and they can often do more harm than good. If you find yourself in a situation where you feel like you need to use one, it’s probably best to just walk away from the project.

 

10. Don’t take it personally

When you’re disagreeing with a client, it’s important to remember that it’s not personal. The client is not attacking you personally, they’re just disagreeing with you on a business matter.

If you can keep this in mind, it’ll be much easier to find a resolution that works for both parties.

 

11. Don’t get defensive

When you’re disagreeing with a client, it’s important to avoid getting defensive. This is when you start to argue with the client or get emotional about the situation.

Getting defensive will only make the situation worse and make it more difficult to find a resolution that works for both parties.

 

12. Don’t give up

When you’re disagreeing with a client, it’s important to avoid giving up. This is when you just agree to the client’s terms, even if you don’t want to.

Giving up might seem like the easy way out, but it’s usually not in your best interest. If you can hold your ground, it’ll be much easier to find a resolution that works for both parties.

 

13. Walk away

Sometimes, the best way to disagree with a client is to just walk away. This is when you know that there’s no way to find a resolution that works for both parties.

Walking away might seem like giving up, but it’s not. It’s just recognizing that there’s no point in continuing the discussion.

If you find yourself in a situation where you can’t find a resolution, it’s probably best to just walk away.

No matter what you do, there will always be times when you have to disagree with a client. By following these tips, you can make sure that the disagreement doesn’t ruin your relationship.

 

How Disagreeing with a Client is a Good Choice?

Disagreeing with a client can be a big risk. But sometimes, it’s a risk that you need to take.

There are a few situations where disagreeing with a client is the best choice:

1. When the client is wrong

If the client is wrong about something, then you must tell them. This doesn’t mean that you should be rude or disrespectful. But it does mean that you should be honest.

2. When the client is being unreasonable

If the client is being unreasonable, then it’s okay to disagree with them. For example, if they’re demanding something impossible, then you have the right to say no.

3. When you have a better idea

If you have a better idea than the client, then you must share it. The client might not always take your advice, but it’s important to give them the option.

4. When you need to stand up for yourself

There will be times when you need to stand up for yourself, even if it means disagreeing with the client. For example, if they’re trying to take advantage of you, then you have the right to say no.

5. When you need to protect your team

There will be times when you need to protect your team, even if it means disagreeing with the client. For example, if they’re asking you to do something unethical, then you have the right to say no.

6. When you need to protect your company

There will be times when you need to protect your company, even if it means disagreeing with the client. For example, if they’re asking you to do something illegal, then you have the right to say no.

7. When you need to protect your values

There will be times when you need to protect your values, even if it means disagreeing with the client. For example, if they’re asking you to do something that goes against your moral code, then you have the right to say no.

8. When you need to protect your interests

There will be times when you need to protect your interests, even if it means disagreeing with the client. For example, if they’re asking you to do something that’s not in your best interest, then you have the right to say no.

9. When you need to end the relationship

There will be times when you need to end the relationship, even if it means disagreeing with the client. For example, if they’re abusive or disrespectful, then you have the right to say no.

10. When you need to save face

There will be times when you need to save face, even if it means disagreeing with the client. For example, if they’re embarrassing you in front of others, then you have the right to say no.

Taking a stand can be difficult, but it’s important to remember that you have the right to disagree with a client. By doing so, you might just end up saving the project—and your relationship.

 

When You Shouldn’t Disagree?

There are a few situations where disagreeing with a client is a bad choice:

  • When it’s not important: If the issue at hand is not important, then it’s probably not worth disagreeing over. This is especially true if it’s something that won’t have a major impact on the project.
  • When you’re not sure: If you’re not sure about something, then it’s probably best to stay quiet. This is because you might end up changing your mind later on.
  • When it’s not your place: If it’s not your place to say something, then you probably shouldn’t. This is because you might end up offending or upsetting the client.
  • When it’s not worth the risk: There will be times when the risk is just too high. This is usually the case when the client is a major source of revenue for your company. In these situations, it’s probably best to agree with them—even if you don’t want to.
  • When it’s not worth the fight: There will be times when the fight is just not worth it. This is usually the case when the client is a good friend or family member. In these situations, it’s probably best to agree with them—even if you don’t want to.
  • When it’s not worth the hassle: There will be times when the hassle is just not worth it. This is usually the case when the client is a pain to work with. In these situations, it’s probably best to agree with them—even if you don’t want to.

Knowing when to disagree with a client is just as important as knowing how to do it. After all, there’s no point in disagreeing with them if it’s not going to do any good.

Final Thoughts

Remember, you as an agency have the right to disagree with a client. Just be sure to do it in a way that’s respectful and professional. After all, they are the ones paying you.

If you’re ever in doubt, just ask yourself this question: Is it worth the risk? If the answer is no, then it’s probably best to let go of your expectations and try to find a middle ground.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (2 votes, average: 3.00 out of 5)
Loading...
Nakatomi Agencja Marketingowa Warszawa

We are an international marketing agency handling comprehensive B2B and B2C campaigns.

Nakatomi® – We create your future.

Nakatomi® – All rights reserved

bt_bb_section_top_section_coverage_image
Agencja Marketingowa Warszawa - footer