Clients from Hell

Quick Answers
Have you ever had any "consumer products" clients?

Certainly. We’ve marketed a number of “consumer” products; everything from parental-control software to home computers, peripherals, and home-office equipment. And work we’ve produced has reached millions of consumers. However, the majority of our clients market products and services to businesspeople.

Why are so many of your clients B2B?

We like selling to business and industrial buyers. They tend to be more analytical and rational, and appreciate a logical, persuasive story based more on facts, features, and benefits than emotion. That’s not to say emotion is not a factor; it’s just that it’s less important in the final equation than logic.

In addition, we’ve found some of the most intelligent, creative and imaginative people within our clients selling products or services to other businesses. They give us the opportunity to produce highly creative work for their very targeted prospects that would be impractical to execute against much larger and more diverse audiences. Finally, they are businesspeople – as we are – who like our dedication to measurability and accountability, and our use of established processes to deliver results.

Are you interested in adding new clients?

Of course we are – if they are the right types of clients. There is an established hurdle, however: we decided long ago to focus on gaining new clients referred to us by others we know and trust; people who could personally vouch for the prospective client’s integrity, ability and willingness to pay their bills, and demeanor. Very rarely have we had success with a new client who did not come to us through this process – but it does happen.

How can I tell if I’m a Client from Hell?

If you’re even concerned that you might be a Client from Hell, chances are you probably aren’t. True Clients from Hell enjoy being thought of as that. They think it somehow puts everyone on notice that they’re going to have to work a lot harder – and our favorite moronic directive: “work smarter” – than they would for other clients.

However, if you’re still wondering, just take this simple test:

    I’m interested in learning more... This is the stupidest idea I’ve ever seen – did some idiot dream this up? Frankly, I’m amazed you’d waste my time with this junk... I expected better from you...

Still wondering?

Fortunately, we don't have any. Nor are we interested in acquiring any. Life's too short to waste time dealing with them.

They will never be pleased with anything anyone does for them. Ever.

And that's the best that can be said for them.

There's no winning with them. They are convinced that the only good ideas are their ideas; the only way to do anything properly is their way. No one has anything to add that's of value. Everyone they deal with is constantly wasting their time and their money.

Not surprisingly, everyone they've ever worked with has failed them. Miserably. Then again, Clients from Hell fully expect everyone to fail.

Their professional life story is one unbroken litany of how others let them down, deceived them, or were too stupid to seize the golden opportunity they offered them on a silver platter. It's always somebody else's fault.

They believe in their hearts that if they don't do everything themselves, come up with all the ideas, and constantly find and expose the errors of others, nothing will ever be done properly.

To which we say: Go with what your heart tells you. Do it yourself.