There are three bad clients to avoid as a private investigator, but if you must take one of them let’s at least look at how to deal with a difficult client.
In reverse order from “not the worst” to “avoid at all cost”…
3. Clients who have a “rush job”.
The client who calls you an needs you “right now” or tomorrow is a concern.
A client (especially a new client) who is in a hurry usually has no experience with a private investigator. That means their expectation of the results they will get as WAY out of line with reality.
If you absolutely must take this type of client, really spell-out to them what they can reasonably expect. Explain to them how the investigation may fail. Don’t just tell them once and figure they understand. You need to explain it multiple time using different words each time so you increase the chances they will understand and remember.
Use a contract with the client whose in a hurry. They will be in “too much of a rush” to get you on the case and “too busy” to sign the contract, but those are WARNING SIGNS that they are even more unreasonable that you think.
Pro Tip: If they have worked with a P.I. before, you gotta ask yourself, “Why are they re-hiring the last investigator?”
2. Desperate clients.
A person hiring you out of desperation is a bad client.
They will have unreasonable expectations of what to expect and will freak-out if you “fail”.
By “fail” I mean if you lose the subject you’re following, can’t find the skip your looking for and can interview the person they need information from.
The desperate client is also usually a cheap client. They don’t have the money to pay you to do the job right or to try again if they case is tricky. You will be trying to fulfill unreasonable expectations without the resources you need.
With an desperate client you will spend more than you make on the case and still have an unhappy client when your done.
1. Creepy clients.
Don’t take creepy clients.
Looks can be deceiving so you can’t just go by the way a person looks to get a creep-index from them. Also, you may not even meet you potential client face-to-face, so you need to look for other warning signs.
First of all, if you even have to ask yourself, “Is this guy kinda creepy?” then you have your first warning sign. He hasn’t passed the “sniff test”. Something just doesn’t “smell right” about this guy.
Secondly, consider what your potential client is asking for. If it’s a lock of hair… creepy.
Unfortunately, the creepy request usually isn’t that obvious.
Here’s a classic creepy request: I need you to follow her home from work.
This is almost always asked by a man asking you to follow a woman. What he “needs” is her home address. Not to see if she stops along the way, sees someone else or whatever. He wants her home address because she has intentionally not given it to him!
Pro Tip: The creepy client will have a weak reason for “needing” the information he’s asking you to get. Ask a few times and in different ways why he needs it. Ask why he hasn’t tried other ways first. His answers will be weak because the real answer is, “She won’t tell me where she lives.”
Never take a creepy client.
Committed to your success,
Larry Kaye, P.I.
P.S. – Don’t miss my special report titled… If You Want To be a Private Investigator Give Up… Unless You Do These Three Things. You can get it right here: