It's a common problem: you're discussing your client's project, and they start to go on and on. They talk over you, they talk over each other, and then they just keep talking and using up your time.
Many of us feel like we have to let them finish what they have to say—but that's not always the best approach.
Here are some tips for handling a talkative client:
- Don't assume you know where they're going with something before they get there. There may be a reason why they're saying what they're saying that isn't immediately apparent from their words alone (maybe it's not all about you!) so don't jump to conclusions until after you've heard everything out loud from them first!
- Make sure you have a timer set up so that you can tell the client when their allotted time for the call is about to run out. This will help them know when to stop talking so that they don't take up too much of your time, which can make them seem like less of a priority for you.
- Be willing to ask questions if you need more information from the person on the other end of the line. If they're talking too much and giving you bits and pieces here and there, then ask them what specific details they want to be included in their report or whatever task they've assigned themselves so that they can be sure that everything gets covered without having too many details left out (this will keep them from going off-topic).