Have you worked with a client who frustrated you to that point where you want to refund his money?…( I have, so many times! Matter of fact – I’m currently trying my best not to scream at one of them now).
Customers and clients are the life of a business. Whether you are a Freelancer or you work for a company; customers and people who buy or pay for your service are the people who drive the business, we all know that! But guess what? Its a mutual experience, you are getting money for providing something valuable which can be your time, product, service or expertise. So, trust me; you deserve every penny you make and even more.
I have been a Freelancer for 4years plus now, trust me, in those few years – I have seen a lot! From customers who-know-it-all to those who want Heaven, earth and hell all together for just a cent and to those who are a perfectionist! Omg! Don’t even get me started on those ones.
The guys at CRM put together a visual on types of clients that you never want to work with. Can you relate?
Did you find one, two or three types of customers who you’ve worked with above? I have worked with ALL of them! I see their faces in each of those blocks ? . There is a way around it, when I first started; I was a people-pleaser. Trying to please everybody, every client, taking on clients with little play, taking on client who wants Heaven, the Angels, the Trinity, Earth, Hell and all the humans in it but want to pay pennies and trying to please any of these clients has not only made me work like a mad man but has also hurt my bottom line. This is because as an entrepreneur, the greatest asset you have is your time! If you waste in on clients who aren’t the best client for you; you cannot get it back! You can use that time to enhance your skills, get more clients or even learn something new.
How to deal with clients so you can remain sane and productive.
Even if you cannot please these types of clients 100% of the time because its frustrating, tiring and actually impossible, these tips will help you in dealing with clients in the future when next you get one like that (trust me, they will come)
Be specific on the delivery and timeline. Always make your client aware of what you will be doing for them, what the scope of the project is, how long it will take, what will be termed as a “done project”, all these should be agreed upon in writing ( I write all these in my proposal to the client ). So, if the client comes with a new thing that wasn’t agreed in the scope of the project, you go back to the proposal, point it out and let them know the cost and time effect this “new addition” will have on the project. I always write in my proposal that “any change in scope will incur some costs and time”. Its all about making sure everyone is on the same page.
Keep to time. All entrepreneurs and freelancers are not the same, but I make sure to always deliver my projects on time! Sometimes one week before the proposed delivery time. This is not only because it wows the client but it also allows me to take feedback from them, implement the feedback and still be within the time I have set aside for their project. What you don’t want is having to spend months on a project that was supposed to take you weeks and this starts becoming a tug of war.
Stay Calm and Smell The Roses. Am not a rose-smelling kinda person but this advice is on point. Try as much as possible to remain positive, calm and collected because if you get angry or mad – this will only make matters worst! You should always remain professional and positive in the tone you use in replying your clients (these types and all clients generally)
Don’t promise a Unicorn. It’s always exciting to get a new client and its easy to start promising heaven and earth just to win the client when I reality: you can only deliver a horse, not a unicorn. Do not promise to do something you cannot deliver. I am a big believer in under promising and over-delivering. I do all I say I’ll do and even extra to wow the client.
Charge Well. From personal experience, clients that pay well will give you the least problems. The fastest way to filter clients who will give you headaches is to charge them. You get people who approach you to work on something for them because they’ve seen the quality of your work, they even go as far as sending you the brief of what they want and the spec of the project and when you send them a proposal or give them a price; they run like a cheetah (lol) . That’s the fastest way to filter clients who do not know the value of your skill, work and do not have the budget to employ your service.
I hope you enjoyed this article, I would love to know your experiences with clients, please drop your stories below and lets.