No matter what category you're an expert in, you'll always be working against high expectations. The old saying that the "Customer is Always Right" is not always true, as you may know. But consider how much your clients have invested in the work you're doing for them. Not just the money, either. As service professionals, you’re working on the most important thing in your clients' lives – their property. Whether you remodel their business or put on a new roof on their home, your clients are emotionally invested in the work you do.
Disagreements can turn into arguments and misunderstanding can turn to arbitration. Many service professionals scratch their heads at the reactions of many homeowners but it's essential to realize something: while your work is important to you, it's still a job. You can and should leave your work at work when you go home every night. But for your clients, their home is their life and they have to live with the work you do for them.
When dealing with clients, educate them on everything you'll be doing and how you'll do it. Let them know, honestly, how long it will take and how much it will cost. Give them your experience and lay out the facts when they demand a product you don't trust or a material you feel won’t work. The key is not to tell them they’re wrong, because they’re already emotionally charged, but to calmly empathize with their needs, their wants, and their dreams. Relay your experience, negotiate fairly, and don’t promise the moon – they'll remember you and, hopefully, refer you.
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