Dear Preston: This Client’s Anxiety Is Driving Me Crazy!
July 15, 2016
I am a new planner and I love my job. For the most part, my clients are incredible, but there is one who is so high strung that she creates major drama with her anxiety. I feel like everything is a rapid fire issue! Have you ever dealt with this?
Getting Fired Up
Dear Fired Up,
Not only can I relate, I can tell you that she may be the first, but she won’t be the last. As clients are human beings who are planning what are often large events that cost a pretty penny and include some of the most important people in their lives, there’s a lot on the line in their eyes. That said, I think one of the most important aspects of being a good planner/designer/florist/professional is to alleviate your client’s concerns by recognizing that her anxiety stems from fear (of the event not living up to his/her expectations, of judgement, etc.) and then do all you can to alleviate it instead of matching it with anxiety of your own. The way I have found that works best is to offer information. Take away the element of surprise and walk through everything step-by-step with your client. Ask him or her how he/she is feeling and for their feedback. The more proactive and open you are with them, the safer they will feel. The last thing you want to do is have a client feel like they need to chase you for information.
By listening and making sure you have understood them, your clients will begin to understand that you can only do a great job, but do it with their very best interests at heart. It doesn’t mean you won’t have anxious, worried or neurotic clients any more or less, but you’ll learn how to manage and guide them the way you do all of your other ones.