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Clients, people that give you a job, pay you for it and entrust their corporate identity. Also they administer communication plans in your hands, believe that you are the right person for it, and lead you to express your creativity. All of these steps come together to provide one goal: improve their business.
This is the definition of a “client” when it comes in design business, or it is “how should it be”! But in some cases we do face lot’s of different kinds of customers. They can be annoying, rude, believe that they are Gods, and many times make your job a living nightmare. Sometimes a client is not the ideal one that we always wish for, especially if we can not afford to give up the job offer. We should learn how to deal with a variety of people in order to stay focused without waste time and money. Let’s take a look at five unique aspects that describe a potential “bad” client. Throughout we will try to explain ideal ways of dealing and managing them.
- The Annoying
- The Designer
- The Bad Payer
- The Undecided
- The Mysterious
1. The Annoying
Let’s see who are the annoying clients. They are a certain kind of people that try to get more than they paid for. Usually they try to squeeze you, and many times they profit out of your kindness, calling anytime and asking for anything. These people believe that they have paid a fee for one of your services (a web-site, a logo, an advertising promotion…), they should be entitled to take up your time. In many cases after the job is done, they ask for some changes after approving the final work. To avoid situations like this, the first rule of thumb is to be very very specific from the beginning with these kind of people. Have a talk with them, be very careful to specify any rights in the contract, what kind of services they deserve, and what they might have to pay as an extra. Try to also provide a job that they can modify or update by their own (In most of the cases I am referring especially in web-design, not much in printing). Committing things like this will also “educate” your customer and make your job a smoother process.
2. The Designer
If your potential customer presses repeatedly telling you – “I would do myself the site but do not have time” – “It’s easy to make a website. I’ve worked in the field for 30 years, but right now I have no time.” – we start to play our internal alarm.
These type of customers tends to minimize the operation of design and analysis. As an outcome, they think that they are “designers” much better then you.
Remember that you are the designer, the professionals in the field. You might know which graphic suits better for his shop, or what paper is better for his letter head! Some people especially when they start to see how you work, or have little knowledge about the field, think that their ideas are in fact superior to yours. Hence forgetting that they hired you, and your professionally-creativity. In many cases they start proposing you some insane ideas, things that in communication will not work, or things impossible to realize. Usually they look around and “gets their inspiration” from other ugly taste without understanding that the best way to improve their business, is to stand out from the crowd! First of all, our solution is to make them understand that we are professional, we studied, and have experience under our belt. Show them the success of your precedent jobs, and do not let him come to your place to follow the work-in-progress.
3. The Bad Payer
I think this is one of the worst behavior that people face in all kind of jobs. The Bad payers are people who only pay what they currently have. They always have some sort of trouble, disallowing them to pay up. You can recognize these types of people before you sign the contract. If you still wish to work for these people, let’s take a quick look on how you should handle this.
First of all, if you meet a person that starts making promises right away, be very careful. Phrases like: “Give me a discount on the first project, then surely we will work together for many years.” – “The first project we do as friends and others you pay them.”
When a customer does not want to sign the contract. They will start to say things like “we have an agreement”, “we have emails and talked on the phone right?” No, do not leave any bureaucratic error on the road. A quotation + contract signed by both parties, can legally be used to certify compliance with the deadlines and specifications made.
If the customers does not want to make the first advance…do not even think about starting the project! Make them understand that all activities will begin as soon as they paid the deposit.
4. The Undecided
Sometimes we do face people that do not know what they want, but they still want to do it!! If you meet people that start to ask for a quote or a layout, but they do not have in mind the idea, be sure to take it very slow! If at any time you think this might be a good client, be prominent to see what they exactly want. In this type of situation you have to be the leader.
Talk and email them, while trying to “walk on a project.” What I mean by this, is to ask/explain to them what job they specifically need you to accomplish. Before starting the job, for these kind of people, be really really really sure what is to be expected at the finish line.
5. The Mysterious
You might find a client with quite bizarre proposals. These are potential customers who want to offer work, without disclosing any concrete information. When you first meet someone, you have to show trust! Same rule applies to the people that select you for desired work. If the client doesn’t prove a valid email, skype account, phone numbers, or home/business address a red flag should be raised. Be very very careful because it might be a form of fraud. You can potentially lose your money as well as time. They might try to say things like “I don’t believe in IT”, “I don’t even know ho to turn on a computer.” So before you provide any information of yours, be sure with who are you dealing with.
Today we listed five types of bad clients, remember every one is different. You will never know what type of clients you will get in future, so please be ready for anything. I hope you enjoyed this article, please consider sharing it with others, it’s really a great way of saying thanks. Please don’t be shy to comment below! For more useful articles like this please don’t forget to subscribe to the RSS-feed and follow Inspirationfeed on Twitter+ Facebook!