The Importance of Being Upfront
Professionals don’t like turning down work, but it is important to recognize that there are some clients you are set up to serve, and others that are not the right fit. Those clients may end up costing you money, time and energy and share their experience in a negative online review.
Often the complaints are about some aspect of your service that was never on offer, or stem from poor communication at the start of a relationship.
For example, if you have a premium service and charge accordingly, make sure you are clear about it when you meet a new client, otherwise you leave yourself open to complaints about fees. Likewise, if you offer a low fee, high volume service, it will be equally frustrating if a client complains that you didn't return their calls within an hour, after hours.
Tell them up front if it is going to take three weeks to get to their file because of other commitments. Establishing clear expectations up front can avoid a lot of frustration for everyone involved.
Fore more, see 'HBR and Strategy – Who is your Primary Customer?'