It's happened to me twice. I've worked with hundreds of business owners, marketing personnel and C-level people, some of whom didn't have a clue how copywriting works or who had their own ideas. Every client is different, but when you work with someone on their business you can quickly see what kind of management style they use.
Some biz owners/C-level people are attentive, smart, focused and listen to your input. They may disagree with your findings or creative direction, but they do offer a well-presented viewpoint. If you believe strongly in your copywriting or creative vision, it's your mission as the creator of that work to sell the client on why it works.
But there are also top level owners and managers who are terrible at listening. They see managing as ordering troops around without any thought about an emotional toll that they might take out on others. Even if you're armed with research and tested examples, they will find a way to dismiss your work.
I've found that these kind of people do it for different reasons, but it's always associated with some kind of emotional reason. They might feel threatened by you, an outsider. Maybe you're younger than they are, and feel that if you crack a nut that they haven't been able to solve up to now, their boss might let them go and replace them with you!
This happened to me once. I came up with a creative strategy for a landing page for a business. Up to that point, their marketing director was spending a lot of money on paid ads bringing traffic to a landing page that wasn't converting. None of the elements that helped convert traffic into customers were on that page.
I worked on the copy, came up with an emotionally engaging message and several points that added more trust to the reader. I then placed a strong call to action on the page.
The client sat down with me and hated it. They even went as far to say that I had "no idea about marketing". It bordered on making me angry and I wanted to yell back at the client, but I had to look professional and keep my cool.
I convinced the client to put up my version of the landing page. Within a month their sales had tripled and the cost per conversion had fallen by a factor of NINE TIMES. In other words, the new landing page was an astounding success.
Now the client has asked me to do more work, and I'm working on several other pages for them. However, they never apologized to me.
This client almost became the third one that I had to let go, but in the end it turned out to be a wonderful example of why you should persevere and stick it out. Still, there are bad situations that do happen and you have to cut your tie to that client. It's been hard to do so but in the end, in each of those two situations, I don't regret my decision to fire that client.
Since there are so many other copywriters working in this forum there must be an abundance of horror stories that can be shared. What's yours?