BOSS Mindset – Insensitive Clients

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can actually still really hurt my feelings!

Anne and Gabby share some personal accounts of past clients who came across a bit harsh. If you haven’t come across this yet, you most likely will. So our #BossBabes go over some very important ways to handle yourself next time it happens that could help you keep your client relationships intact.


Quick Concepts from Today’s Episode:

  1. Be prepared to play the game. Your client likely doesn’t know what they’re looking for.

  2. Don’t be reactionary. Take time to think and process before you respond.

  3. Try to persuade your clients to schedule a directed session

  4. It’s hard, but try not to take the insensitive comments personally.

Referenced in this Episode

Direct links to things we brought up ++

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Anne: Welcome, Everybody, to the VO BOSS Podcast. I’m your host, Anne Ganguzza, along with my beautiful, lovely co-host, Gabby Nistico. Hey, Gabby! Gabby: Aw, thanks, Anne. Anne: Gabby, today we’re gonna talk about insensitive clients. And how to handle them. Gabby: HAHA! Anne: Haha, and how to handle them. I’m sure all of us have had something to do with insensitive clients. Gabby: Hold on. Give me some room. I got plenty to say here. Anne: As a matter of fact, you told me a story, the other day, Gabby,– Gabby: Oh my gosh. Anne:–about a client who was a little bit insensitive. Why don’t you tell us about it. Gabby: Sure Anne: And what you did to handle it. Gabby: So, really funny. So, I’ve had a client, now, that I’ve worked with for quite a few years. They come back to me every holiday season for a lot stuff. This is a BIG client too. This is, like, not, you know, small time stuff. This is major brand name, house hold name, company. And they came back to me for a series of ads, and everything was going great, I think there were nine spots total in the order, and on the ninth ad they said, “Um. Gee. You know, Gabby, this, um…” And this–the funny part about this is–So, this is, like, third person, in that the words came directly from the client through email to the agency. And the agency actually forwarded this to me. I don’t know what they were thinking, ’cause, man, did they supply no buffer. Anne: An email? Gabby: Yeah. So, they supplied no buffer. No okay, let’s kinda cushion this a little. No, no, no, no, no. So, they threw me onto the stake, and sent me this email. And it said, “Gabby. We really like what you’re doing with all the other spots. In fact, we like them so much that we wanna let you know that we’re going to be expanding our usage of you and adding even more commercials, and moving forward in the new year, we think we wanna start using you year-round.” So, I’m like, “Hey, yay, that’s great!” Then, they say this, “In this particular spot, we’d really love it if you could sound less ‘wheezy.'” Yep! You heard that. Both: ‘Wheezy.’ Anne: As in, George and Weezy? Gabby: And…No! No. Anne: No? Gabby: No! As in, [dramatically wheezes], wheezing. Anne: Oh, my, gosh. Gabby: And, I– Anne: Movin’ on up. Gabby: Yeah. So, I am utterly and completely flabbergasted. I’m just so gobsmacked, I don’t even know what to do with this email and I just sort of let it sit there, and I stared at it, and I’m like…what? Because initially, of course, like all your defenses go up. Right? You’re like, because that’s such a personal thing. I mean, it’s such a bizarre… Anne: Well, it’s a — yes, it’s your voice. It’s your delivery, and so… Gabby: Comment. Yes, exactly. they’re going right for the…you know, Gabby: Yeah! I mean, it’s literally like let’s just go an attack they way you make your living. Anne: Right for the throat! Gabby: Yeah, I took a minute to kind of separate myself from it. And initially I thought, they can’t possibly mean this the way they’re wording it. Because I’m like, there aren’t even breaths in the ad. Right, there’s no breaths! There’s literally no breaths in the ad. Anne: What does wheezy sound like? That’s what I want to know! What does wheezy sound like? Gabby: I don’t know! That was it! I have no idea! I’m still at a total loss for what they meant by that. So, I sort of composed myself and I said to the agency, Ok, well, let’s go ahead and give this another go. I said, It’s definitely a little bit concerning. In the meantime, I spent the entire night and next day obsessing about this piece of information. What does this mean? What is this? How do I fix this? Is this something that’s happening and I don’t know this is happening? Do my agents know about this? Do people know that there’s something really, really wrong with my voice and no one is telling me? Why is no one telling me? Why isn’t Anne telling me? I have friends in this industry! Somebody tell me what’s going on! I mean, it was… just this, you know, hysterical brain hijacking of awful thoughts! Anne: I’m going to tell you, I have a story that’s kind of similar. They didn’t actually say anything directly about my voice but I was having a directed session in the booth. And, you know, you do take one. They’re like, so I really want it conversational and natural. Like you’re talking to your best friend. So, I did the take and then silence. For a few too long seconds and I was like, Oh my God, Oh my God! Immediately it went right to my head. What’s the matter. Okay, can we try maybe I’m going to need you to pick up the pace a little bit and what about a little more smile? And so, literally, I did a second take and after that it was like, yeah, I need more energy. So, ultimately they took me from being conversational and natural to pretty much an infomercial kind of sell sound. And it was so funny because at the beginning they’re like, no, you’re talking to your best friend. But they ended up directing, and each time I did a take I was more paranoid than the last. Because I was like, Oh my God, was that not conversational? I do this all the time! Was that not conversational? Maybe no one’s tell