Accounting

I have a status meeting with two notoriously mean client contacts next week and I’m dreading it. It’s the first status meeting for year end. How can I approach this and get things started right?

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Video call? Put them off guard with a good zoom background or by not wearing a shirt. Seriously though, I think you go in with a matter of fact attitude and keep thick skin, showing no response to them being mean. You can start by being overly nice, but remember that if everyone knows these two are jackwagons, no one is going to think anything of you getting shit from them. They may be more on edge than normal given the environment, so expect them to to be worse than normal.

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Can you provide some details about how they have been mean in the past? Might be able to tailor my thoughts a little better. But to answer your question preparation is key. Try to anticipate what they are going to be mad about and come up with a good response. But instead of waiting for them to bring up why they are mad, bring it up yourself first. This way you have more control of the narrative and you can take the wind out of their mean sails.

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It's hard for me to tell based on what you have said but it almost sounds to me like the relationship is beyond saving so at this point you may just want to involve someone higher up. If that is the case you could try doing something like drafting up the email sending it to your manager and then have your manager send the email to their manager. That way the email pulls a little bit more weight. I would also recommend having your manager or a senior manager sit in on meetings when possible or occasionally sit in on meetings. I think they will be less likely to roll their eyes in person in situations like that. Hopefully that helps if not feel free to write a few specific follow up questions.

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I’ve noticed people are nicer recently. Hopefully your client won’t be an asshole considering in the grand scheme of things this is not that important.

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