Be Patient. Be Professional. Be organized. Be Proactive. Be excellent at what you do.
While not everyone has yet to have encountered a micromanaging client, beware – they are out there!
My advice is to ensure that you remain very patient in your interactions with them. Just as you need to get to know your client, they also need to get to know you, and of equal importance, they must learn how to trust you.
Though it may not always appear to be the case with a micromanaging client, your goals and theirs are very much aligned: your client needs to know that you make them look good, and you need to learn their priorities, concerns and points of view as quickly as possible. Every client is focused on making a beautiful event go off without a hitch, and it can be challenging for some people to relax and to let you take control of some or all of the decisions. This can only be accomplished with professionalism and by open communication on your part.
Your professionalism is the cornerstone of building a solid, trust-based relationship with any client. Exude a professional image at all times. This applies to all aspects of your online presence such as your website, your email communications and your social network pages and communications. It also applies to your face-to-face dealings. Image is everything. Ensure that you are appropriately attired when attending any preliminary client meetings, and any meetings with your client and third parties. A suit or business casual attire are fail-safe. Pay attention to your personal grooming.
Always be prepared
When working with a micromanaging client, come prepared. When decisions need to be made, suggest alternatives to any problems that might arise. Tell your client that you will think about their options if no alternatives immediately come to mind. Reassure your client by committing to a time by which you will get back to them with a solution.
Remaining organized is fundamental to building your client’s trust and to staying on top of your deliverables. Make sure you create and follow a work back schedule. Stay ahead of it if you can! Ensure that the schedule clearly outlines everyone’s respective duties so that there are no questions as to who should be doing what, or when.
Keep open lines of communication with your client. Tell them that you are available to answer any questions and to address any issues that may arise. This is one of the best means through which to remain calm while reassuring your client that you are on top of your job. Update your client regularly as you move through the work back schedule, whether through scheduled calls or face-to-face meetings.
Be proactive. As you get to know your client, use that knowledge so that you are able to anticipate your client’s needs and to respond to them even before they arise.
Provide excellent customer service
Excellence at your job comes from hard work, common sense and an understanding of what constitutes great customer service. Give your client excellent service at all times. If you love people and enjoy learning from them, managing the micro-manager will become second nature. Surround yourself by staff-members who contribute skills which complement yours, so that together, you get the job done right.
So when you next come into contact with a micromanaging client, be patient, be organized, be proactive, and don’t let them push your buttons. Just remember – you’re there to help them!