This is part two as promised as we continue discussing more indicators of clients you should not take on. You do not need every client or customer that comes your way. You must assess the suitability of whether or not you should take on a particular client. That is why I am talking about these indicators so that you know how to identify the clients. If you adopt an approach of taking on every client please reconsider. You might suffer losses without realizing it; you will waste time, effort, and resources.


There is nothing as draining as working with a disrespectful person. In dealing with clients being disrespectful will usually show in how they tell you what to do. If they commandeer you and are always barking out orders, you do not need such clients. Such traits will show from the very onset when you are seeking to understand what they need. The best relationship to have with clients is not where clients boss you around. The best relationship is when you work together as partners; it is healthier and more productive.

Fluctuating Scope

Every venture, be it a project, a gig, or an order, has a scope. That scope must be defined from the very beginning. There are of course times when you will need to have various engagements with a client. If with each engagement the scope is always shifting, you need to opt-out. It is intricately related to goal setting. You cannot effectively give a client what they need if the scope keeps fluctuating. It will be a clear sign that they probably do not quite understand what their problem is. To avoid contentions, later on, avoid taking on such clients.

They Hurry You

Some clients will come to you in a hurried manner. They will pressurize you with how urgent the matter is and what nought. Usually, that can show that the client messed up something or somewhere. Then they come to you and project that onto you. When a client is in such a hurry, it becomes more likely for many things to go wrong. Most of the other things we have spoken about will be magnified as well. If ever you feel rushed by a client it is usually best to not take them on. Their expectations of what you should do will be unrealistic.

Unclear Or Mystery Stakeholders

This is in some ways related to the low buy-in aspect. When dealing with a client, especially a contact person for a bigger collective, this is pertinent. You need to know quite a bit about the people behind that client. For instance, it is common to get statements like, ‘let me check with my team and get back to you. You need to closely check whether or not that team truly exists. Plus is the so-called team in on everything? If you ever sense that the stakeholders are mysterious then it is best to not get involved.

Lack Of Responsibility

I have noticed this many times; it happens a lot. Some clients will literally expect you to carry the whole weight of the say, project, gig, and so on. The thing is, as a service provider when a client comes along you should work together – as partners. That means you both have roles and responsibilities to play. Sure enough, you can be reliable in keeping up your end of the deal, but can the client keep up theirs? Some clients take no responsibility and that should not be so. Do not take on such clients.

You Are An Nth Option

Sometimes you might not get to find this out but you must do it. Find out if the client has worked with other service providers before. In some cases, they can tell you themselves without even asking. You know, things like, ‘we have tried A, B, and C before. If they have tried out only one option before, that can be understandable. If it is more than 2 it can be a tell-tale sign. Of course, it might simply indicate that the other options could not address their problem. However, it can be an indicator of them being problematic clients. Look into this before taking them on; it can just be safer to not take them on.

Diminishing The Weight Of Work Required

Have you ever come across a client who says something like, ‘I need you to do an easy job for me? They can also use other key terms like, simple or quick. The use of such words is distasteful because they imply something. They imply that the client thinks whatever they need to be done is easy, simple, or quick. They will be diminishing the weight of work or effort required. It is one of the stickiest issues in consultancy work, for example. If a client diminishes the weight of work required in any way, do not take them on. They will not be willing to pay you enough and they will not appreciate your effort.

That wraps it up; now you know the indicators of clients you should not take on. I know getting clients can be difficult but do not be too desperate. If you are careless by taking on any and all clients, the stress and pressure might not be worth it. Taking on the wrong clients can seriously affect your mental health so be diligent about this.