Friday 27 January 2023
  • :
  • :

Signs of a Great Client Relationship

Patti DeNucci is regular contributor to the intrepidNOW Network, focusing on connecting and developing business relationships.

Patti DeNucci, intrepidNOWIf you’ve ever dealt with a difficult client or one that simply leaves you feeling chronically drained, unsure of yourself, or feeling like you are constantly spinning bald tires in slippery mud, you’ll want to check out this list I created during the first few years I owned my communications business.

This list became a necessity, if you want to know the truth.

Here’s how I saw things: Sure, if you own a business you often have to deal with a few prickly personalities and ho-hum projects if you want to stay in business. However, over time I discovered that certain clients, in the end, just weren’t worth the trouble they gave me. It was just too hard and the outcomes weren’t positive.

In contrast, when I decided to get more particular about the people and companies I worked with – and began holding my clients to the same high standards to which they held me – I was much happier, got more done, loved the work I produced, and (eureka!) my business was more profitable.

Why? Because dud clients were not only driving me crazy, they were wasting a huge amount of my time, energy, and emotional bandwidth. Plus, day by day, they killed my creativity, crushed my soul, vanquished my spirit, and distracted me from the clients and opportunities I really loved.

No more!

In speaking, hosting workshops, and writing over the years, I’ve shared this constantly-evolving list with many of my followers, audience members, and coaching clients. Imagine my delight when these awesome people tell me, even years later, that they still rely on this list when evaluating which clients to work with— and which to pass along or give the proverbial boot.

Here we go. You know you’re in a great client relationship when:

  • You look forward to the work you are asked to do.
  • You might even look forward to the meetings.
  • You believe in the organization and what it does and stands for.
  • You are a good fit for the client; you offer the services and have the expertise they want and need.
  • You and your point of view are trusted and respected; your expertise is appreciated and valued.
  • You enjoy and communicate well with the people; there’s good chemistry, mutual respect, and a valuable exchange of ideas.
  • You have access to and often work directly with key decision makers.
  • You are allowed (most of the time) to work at a pace that is reasonable and allows you to do your best work; panic projects are the exception, not the rule.
  • You work through any problems successfully and without much drama.
  • Things get done; you are proud of the work you do and the results accomplished.
  • You are paid fairly and promptly in exchange for your good work.
  • The client can help bring you more opportunities, either in the form of additional work or in enthusiastic testimonials or referrals.
  • If two or more of these factors are missing in any of your client relationships, it may be time to reassess, renegotiate, and have a frank discussion to see what adjustments need to be made. Or it might even be time to let them go and look for brighter, more fruitful opportunities.

    What are your less-than-fabulous clients costing you? And what would you add to this list?


    CLICK HERE to never miss Patti’s latest column, sent DIRECT to to your INBOX!

    Patti DeNucci

    Patti DeNucci is a consultant, author and speaker and Chief Connector at DeNucci & Co. LLC. She loves working with motivated people who want to learn how to Live, Work & Connect at a Higher LevelTM and is author of the award-winning book The Intentional Networker: Attracting Powerful Relationships, Referrals & Results in Business. Patti is working on her second book about Conversation and Connection.