Say “No” to Brain Damage

brainCrazy LinkedIn Lady. I recently had an author approach me about doing PR for her book this holiday season. I was completely upfront with her and told her that ship had sailed (not enough time). She then wanted to do a quick LinkedIn campaign, which is totally doable. Mind you this was not a big project to start, but would morph into a full blown PR campaign next year. I customized and drafted a pitch that would produce results – I do this for clients and for my own company. Well, after I sent the pitch off to the client for approval and she sent back a SCATHING email saying that it was not what she wanted at all. I don’t mind doing edits or even a rewrite, but to send a nasty gram? Mind you … during our original conversation she told me she had never used LinkedIn for marketing before. Ever. What went through my head? 1. Client does not listen = red flag. 2. I do not want to be in bed with her PR projects for 3 months, and 3. Refund money ASAP and say bye-bye. She did apologize, but all I have to say is, next! Sadly a similar situation happened to two of my colleagues in the very same week.

Scope Creeper Alert. This is another one to avoid for sure. If you give someone an inch, they will take a mile without fail. One of my colleagues was in the position very recently, where the client had gone over time, by several hours on a couple of projects. Even when you set expectations up front (a.k.a. scope of project and hours), the client was flat out expressing that he was probably going to go over. Um. That’s ballsy and yet billable work. Avoid scope creepers and you will avoid unnecessary brain damage. The wheel spinners also fall into this category. If you let someone spin their wheels and be a timesuck for two months, chances are that is not going to stop anytime soon. If you start getting severe indigestion when a client calls, chances are you are dealing with a spinner or a scope creeper. My point? Cut both situations off immediately. Your stomach will thank you for it and you can enjoy your turkey dinner.

Argumentative Annoyance. Now, I have a colleague who is a customer service representative for the dental industry, specifically dealing with dental insurance. Well, he had a client (now an ex-client), that went to the dentist and decided to get his teeth whitened and then get some grills for his teeth. I am not a genius when it comes to what is covered and what is not under a policy, but I am pretty sure aesthetic work is not covered AND they usually tell you up front. Guess what happened when blingy teeth got his bill? He decided to call my colleague and yell at him like a lunatic. Instead of dealing with the cause of future brain damage, Mr. Blingy was let go immediately.

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