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Our November 2021 Event. Open conversation: Dealing with difficult clients

We’ve all had clients that were difficult to deal with. Some of them may not understand that what they want is simply not possible or is too much for their budget. Others expect you to make things magically happen with incomplete information. Sometimes, they could simply have a personality that clashes with your values. Or they have expectations that are way out of whack with reality. And there are those who are … simply a bit too odd.

The challenges posed by a single difficult client can sometimes overshadow the benefit that they bring. Knowing how to handle these situations courteously can certainly be helpful.

This time, rather than inviting an expert speaker, we wanted to give the stage to the attendees of the event. Our goal was to create a trusted space where we could get together and discuss our experiences.

Everyone was encouraged to share their experiences along the following lines to keep a positive spirit:

  • Have you had any difficult clients? If so, share your story – with respecting their privacy.
  • Explain how you resolved the issue.
  • And share what you learnt from it.

First, host Gabriella Ferenczi shared two stories from her professional practice. One was about managing client expectations. The other one was about an embarrassing money situation.

When the atmosphere started to warm up, all the attendees joined in and shared their anecdotes:

  • There were stories on how challenging it can be sometimes to establish trust with a client by defending your own processes and staying true to your values.
  • Lessons on how we can deal with rudeness.
  • What we can do when someone doesn’t value our time.
  • Tricks to make sure payment reaches us on time.
  • How to be helpful and at the same time, how we have to say no and set boundaries – even if it means losing friends.
  • What to do with last minute cancellations to keep clients and ourselves happy.
  • And many other truly thought-provoking honest stories of our everyday working life as freelance language professionals.


What this event was about:

  • ✅ We had a friendly, supportive discussion and to learn from each other.
  • ✅ We vented our frustrations a bit.
  • ✅ We saw different perspectives and learnt how others coped with difficult situations.

What this event was NOT about:

  • ⛔️ We didn’t name and shame anyone.
  • ⛔️ We didn’t commiserate.
  • ⛔️ We didn’t moan and complain.

Thank you to all language professionals who joined in and took part in this intimate and honest conversation.

We’ll be back again in December with the final networking event of 2021. Stay tuned.


The event was part of our Behind Closed Doors event series.

Behind closed doors with language professionals is a series of events organised by Language Professionals’ Networking Event.

We do not record these events. And we don’t take screenshots. It’s a safe place where we can talk, meet and connect with each other and widen our professional network.

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