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  • #993161
    shimmie
    Member
    • Total posts: 4

    Hi, hoping i could get some advice from the flying solo community.

    I have a new business and still getting my head around client/supplier etiquette. I have quoted a design job for a client who asked for bargain pricing. So I quoted it with very specific tasks, and terms including what is expected with ‘out of scope’ tasks.

    I have almost finished the quoted project, but the client is emailing me every day (as FYI) asking to read articles, view videos, etc for information pertaining to his product’s market. Reading and replying to these emails takes time and while it is related to the project I’m working on, it is clearly part of a bigger marketing project.

    What is the etiquette here? Do I say this is out of scope? Or do I continue to read and reply and spend extra time for what might be a bigger job for me? I do not wish to continue with this client if they insist on bargain pricing though, and it’s very very likely this may happen.

    What is your advice and how can I approach my client about this, while maintaining the great relationship we already have?

    #1190001
    Dave Gillen – FS Concierge
    Moderator
    • Total posts: 2,543

    Hi [USER=72641]@shimmie[/USER],

    Welcome to Flying Solo!

    If you’ve very early on in your business, you might do a bit extra for this client in the interest of producing a happy customer, case study, testimonial, and put it down as a lesson for next time.

    The next time you quote a job for that client, quote them the right amount and they’ll have the option of stepping up or stepping away. Either way you’re happy. :)

    If you ever do another ‘bargain’ job, you’ll explain up front that they’re choosing the more limited no frills option (less revisions, less research, etc).

    Good luck!

    Dave

    Dave Gillen - Client Acquisition | Brisbane | (07) 3180 0288
    #1190002
    Johny
    Member
    • Total posts: 840

    “I do not wish to continue with this client if they insist on bargain pricing though, and it’s very likely this may happen.”

    How great can the relationship be?

    Set the parameters, explain them and enforce them. Bargain hunters only want the relationship while the price is right. They will desert you like a…… (well you get the idea), when something cheaper comes along.

    No surprisingly, my experience with bargain hunters is that they are often the ones that waste the most time as well allowing you less time to hunt for better more worthwhile opportunities.

    #1190003
    shimmie
    Member
    • Total posts: 4

    Thank you for the welcome [USER=49676]@FS Forum Support[/USER], and thank you for the great advice. (p.s., if i’ve posted this in the wrong forum, feel free to move it)

    At our initial meeting, I did mention that my involvement would be limited which is why I was very strict in specifying my tasks and terms.

    I think I’ll wrap up this open project and start the discussion about next steps. I’ll offer to promptly get started on the next marketing project, or he can have access to me on a retainer.

    [USER=34822]@Johny[/USER] i agree and I think this is exactly what I’m learning – the hard way! As a newbie, I’ve relied heavily on referrals (mates rates), but will need to start saying no asap. It does get a bit soul-crushing after a while.

    I’ll be sure to update y’all and if there’s anyone else that would like to share their experience and advice, would love to hear it.

    #1190004
    bb1
    Participant
    • Total posts: 4,485
    Johny, post: 222991, member: 34822 wrote:

    No surprisingly, my experience with bargain hunters is that they are often the ones that waste the most time as well allowing you less time to hunt for better more worthwhile opportunities.

    What johny said, plus they are the biggest complainers as well. Set you boundaries and stick to them

    #1190005
    MyGreatIdea
    Member
    • Total posts: 2,278

    Set your prices a little higher for the bargain hunters.

    It will either move them along because they don’t see your value, or compensate you for the aggravation.

    Wendy :)

    #1190006
    Byron Trzeciak
    Member
    • Total posts: 422

    Definitely agree with what everyone else has said. Customers shopping on price have typically resulted in demanding time hugry clients that leave you feeling frustrated that you’ve been taken for a ride.

    The best thing you can do is address the level of service you want to provide and what type of customers you want to attract and price accordingly. I think living in hope of that “bigger job” rarely occurs in these cases. You need to put your own business first and find customers who pay and respect your time.

    Very difficult as a beginner in business and something you’ll just need to continously improve upon.

    #1190007
    Jason Ramage
    Participant
    • Total posts: 3,161
    shimmie, post: 222983, member: 72641 wrote:
    Hi, hoping i could get some advice from the flying solo community.

    I have a new business and still getting my head around client/supplier etiquette. I have quoted a design job for a client who asked for bargain pricing. So I quoted it with very specific tasks, and terms including what is expected with ‘out of scope’ tasks.

    I have almost finished the quoted project, but the client is emailing me every day (as FYI) asking to read articles, view videos, etc for information pertaining to his product’s market. Reading and replying to these emails takes time and while it is related to the project I’m working on, it is clearly part of a bigger marketing project.

    What is the etiquette here? Do I say this is out of scope? Or do I continue to read and reply and spend extra time for what might be a bigger job for me? I do not wish to continue with this client if they insist on bargain pricing though, and it’s very very likely this may happen.

    What is your advice and how can I approach my client about this, while maintaining the great relationship we already have?

    Hi Shimmie

    Have followed this post with interest as it is something that comes up from time to time with people in a service related/design industry such as you appear to be in (mentioning design job) although i personally find it quite difficult to give you a full on reply that would quench your desired outcome.

    All i mean is that without knowing the client, the job, the value its hard to equate and further to this what may be a ‘bargain’ job for you could potentially be a gold mine in another persons eyes.. Hope that makes sense?

    There has been a mix or replies and ultimately it will come down to fundamentals in your own belief of what is worthwhile and what is not. Some people go that little extra to help out and provide guidance, others will simply bounce back an email asking ‘would you like me to quote you on providing this type of guidance’ and leave it to the client. Its all a happy balance of which you need to stumble through a little, although i know if i charged a client every time they called, they asked a question on email or even dropped in for a coffee i would have a few mansions strewn around the globe by now :) – although i tend to attribute them to relationships.

    If it is a clear black and white scenario of ‘hey i have $50 to spend and need you to knock up a business card and THAT IS ALL I WANT OR NEED AND WILLING TO SPEND’ well i would tread cautiously about extending any other service AT ALL and hope that you also clearly outlined what you would be willing to do for this client in a quote of services covered – Although most bargain buyers are troublesome, unfortunately they also make up the vast majority of clients in some businesses, be it service or product, and if you were to turn off to additional help from time to time you could potentially ruin an opportunity to convert them from a ‘bargain hunter’ to a valuable client.

    Just because someone starts as a BARGAIN CLIENT, does not mean that with your expertise and professionalism that you can not eventually (short term or long term) turn this around and help them understand the process you assist with and make them a more profitable client. After all, as a business owner is it not our role to try and assist those needing our service and to then build value into the service we provide? Every cent earned in your own business is yours (minus expenses etc of course), and every client you say goodbye to is $$$ you will not earn moving forward.

    Just offering a different perspective i guess, not saying its right or wrong though!

    Jason Ramage | Lucas Arthur Pty Ltd | E: hello@lucasarthur.net.au   P: 61 3 8324 0344    M: 61 412 244 888
    #1190008
    bb1
    Participant
    • Total posts: 4,485
    HarryLuke Logistics, post: 223035, member: 34537 wrote:
    Every cent earned in your own business is yours (minus expenses etc of course), and every client you say goodbye to is $$$ you will not earn moving forward.

    Just offering a different perspective i guess, not saying its right or wrong though!

    Hi {insert name here}
    Excellent to always look at different perspectives, and I agree when starting out possibly a good approach. Once you get established worthwhile taking the hardline approach, I have found that once you get rid of these kind of clients you tend to get 2 excellent one’s in return

    Hows it going Jason

    #1190009
    Jason Ramage
    Participant
    • Total posts: 3,161
    bb1, post: 223056, member: 53375 wrote:
    Hi {insert name here}
    Excellent to always look at different perspectives, and I agree when starting out possibly a good approach. Once you get established worthwhile taking the hardline approach, I have found that once you get rid of these kind of clients you tend to get 2 excellent one’s in return

    Hows it going Jason

    Howdy Young Man,

    Yeah i am ok, thanks for asking. .hope life, family and ‘hobbies’ are treating you well to mate…

    Thanks for finally agreeing with me for once :p, makes a change.. LOL.. Agree with your whole heartedly, just i have responded to OP’s initial post mentioning he was new and getting his head around the new business – thus my suggestion of adjusted tolerance levels for some clients.. ;)

    Had a real hard boss when i was starting out, hard as in expected a lot, and taught me considerably.. One thing he ingrained on me was how people tend to reply to anything (be it post, question, expectation etc etc) with their own personal experiences top of mind including situational etc which can sometimes truly skew the answer that the person asking the question was seeking.. Meaning, we forget to put ourselves in anothers shoes – for the person asking the question, may or may not have travelled the same roads as us thus exposing themselves or maybe not exposing themselves (keep the coat closed.. LOL) to the beliefs of our own – impartiality is brutal, and commonly overlooked..

    Now, if you followed this post, i am impressed.. I am too scared to proof read it and am posting with little or no editing whatsoever.. So wishing readers and their own interpretations of my rant good luck.. o_O

    Jason Ramage | Lucas Arthur Pty Ltd | E: hello@lucasarthur.net.au   P: 61 3 8324 0344    M: 61 412 244 888
    #1190010
    jtco
    Member
    • Total posts: 31

    There is a philosophy in the consulting world (across many industries) that you should cut 10% of your clients each year because the relationship is no longer worth your while. Looks like you found a candidate early.

    Scope creep can kill your profitability since you can never get more hours in a day. Don’t be afraid to push back.

    #1190011
    sonjaadelle
    Member
    • Total posts: 1

    I think there are two different kinds of client’s that ask for bargain pricing.

    1. Those that come to you with a budget already in mind and you work towards getting them the best value for that.

    2. Clients who will always ask if you can make it any cheaper and will try and tack on extra work outside of the scope. Another common thing I have found is that they want you to create their brief for them so they then can take it to another cheaper service like fiverr or outsource.

    A lot of my work is for small business with low budgets and I can usually tell if they value my time and service by the initial agreement and scope stage.

    The strongest part of my business is the relationships I have with my clients, if this looks to be hairy in the early stages, I would recommend not moving on price and do charge for extra work. They will either pay or move on leaving you to focus on better jobs.

    As for those who come to you with a budget I try to get the best result them, something that will help their business grow and in turn bring you back more business.

    I guess my biggest advice is, if you don’t value your time they won’t either.

    #1190012
    16k_zx81
    Member
    • Total posts: 43

    You will develop strategies for this over time, I promise :)

    One of the cool things about being your own boss, is that you get to choose your customers.

    Yes, you read that right :) (yay!)

    As a sole operator, there is just no time to deal with people who waste it. Its too precious a commodity.

    So, the art of this, I guess, from my perspective, at least, is to get a really good ‘radar’ – up front – for whether the person you are dealing with is (a) a customer, or (b) a time-waster. If they are a customer, *manage* their expectations before engaging services. If they are a time-waster, exit them, pronto!

    That radar will save you a lot of energy over time, and works by asking the right questions of the customer, of what it is they want. Exactly. And then, how much they will need to pay for it. Its also important to establish exactly what you can and can not offer them in the course of the contract.

    If people are wasting your time, dont be afraid to be direct: “Real” customers (the ones with basic respect for your time, and a budget commensurate with the quality of your services) will understand you are a working person and are juggling other responsibilities. They will value the time you can offer them, won’t be offended when you politely close an off-track conversation down because of other responsibilities.

    People who think they are the “centre of the universe” (are under the mistaken impression you have no other customers to service and act accordingly, monopolising your time) are poison from a sole-operator standpoint. Personally, I am quite direct with them, and will even go as far as to tell them that another service might be ‘better able to service their needs’, if I cannot manage their expectations once service is underway.

    Every time I walk someone out the door apologising profusely for being unable to provide the service they need, I breathe a sigh of relief as I move on to work that pays me money.

    Sorry about the long post. I am passionate on this subject, as I encounter people like this every week :)

    My 5c on this one: politely exit this person asap, and turn your attention to your ‘real’ customers. =profit.

    Jim

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