Home – New Forums Get productive How do you avoid clients you dont want?

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  • #1018300
    Chris Bates
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    I’ve the same issue… “Oh, while you’re here my emails are…”

    It’s hard to say no. It’s hard to turn around and say “if you want me to click 3 buttons, it’s going to cost you another $100”.

    I suppose it comes down to that rule about separating business and emotion.

    #1018301
    Adam Randall
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    It can be hard for sure especially when your project is being blamed for the problems that are occuring even though it has nothing to do with the problems.

    It hits you in two ways if you do not say something, first it blows out your time for the job which makes you look bad and second it blows out the cost if you cannot seperate what was agreed to from what was added along the way also making you look bad.

    I have found that the best thing to do is record it as a seperate ticket and make a decision later about how to deal with costs, at least its recorded.

    I also ensure any “while your here issues” are recorded and the person requesting them obtains an understanding that we are here for a very specific reason (the project) we have a deadline to meet and we have recorded the request which will have to be approved prior to it being completed.

    Still its easy on paper and much more difficult in real life.

    #1018302
    JohnSheppard
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    Adam Randall, post: 21384 wrote:
    Still its easy on paper and much more difficult in real life.

    lol, Amen.

    #1018303
    Jill
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    re: http://articles.techrepublic.com.com/5100-10878_11-1045555.html

    That is an excellent read, thanks Adam.

    Scope creep, thats it.

    Edit PS and another article from same website:http://articles.techrepublic.com.com/5100-10878_11-5655047.html?tag=rbxccnbtr1

    #1018304
    [Former] FS Concierge
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    Hi Jill,
    You might also like to check this article out:
    http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/p182435197_Dealing+with+’scope+creep’.html

    Or, for the lighter side of making this work for you, try this one: http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/p274543565_Business-quoting-10-secret-line-items-revealed.html – the reader comments at the end are well worth a read too!

    Good luck with your new T&C!
    Jayne

    #1018305
    SteveDavidson
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    Yup. There’s a lot of advice going back centuries which boils down to “Never drop a client, just adjust your prices and let them make the call.” Customers, on the other hand, you can fire.

    At least you can take comfort in the fact that if certain clients still insist on hiring you, at least you’ll be able to put the kids through college on the additional charges. If they’re so bad to work with that they affect your health, you can always drag out the “Too busy, booked right through to the end of the year” line.

    #1018306
    Burgo
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    Yes Ive used the sorry am book out for the next six months.

    Just hate it when they say OK I’ll wait

    #1018307
    SteveDavidson
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    Burgo, post: 23085 wrote:
    Yes Ive used the sorry am book out for the next six months.

    Just hate it when they say OK I’ll wait

    If the client is willing to hand over a huge chunk of cash, and the actual work itself is separate to dealing with them, I wonder if it might be profitable to hire a temp to be a go-between for the length of the project. The client gets their work done, you and the temp get paid, you don’t have to deal with the client directly. Win-win-win?

    #1018308
    beancounter
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    Couple of ways of avoiding clients like that:

    Firstly, Perhaps you’ve experienced it already with tradesmen that double their rate just for your job and then you, the customer, decide whether to pay or not

    Secondly, On some occasions we’ve thanked the client for the opportunity and suggested that we’re not in a position to give them the level of service that they are wanting at this particular stage, and referred them to other bookkeepers

    #1018309
    Leisa D
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    Hi Jill, I feel your pain. You can certainly turn down potential clients but it gets tricky when you’ve already started the job.

    I’m assuming you’re already very clear what’s included in your package descriptions, so maybe all you can do is add a generic confirmation email outlining in bullet form, or “stages” what they’ve purchased (ie. stage 1 logo design, how many concepts you’ll do, expected timeframe, etc. stage 2…) – call it a “project schedule” and follow that as a guide as you go.

    If they stray from that, tell them you’re happy to “upgrade” them to a higher package for the extra cost (maybe a small discount to keep it friendly).

    I recently updated some artwork for a client at no charge as I was also handling the printing, but then then wanted the same thing in several other versions as press-quality pdf “just in case” they decide to get them printed elsewhere in the future…

    #1018310
    Leisa D
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    PS – It’s fine to turn down a job before it starts – I do this often if it’s clear they expect premium service at budget rates.

    #1018311
    sydneyfx
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    With any service business your going to have to learn how to manage these types of issues.

    I also am not interested in contracts and terms and would rather have a simple negotiation in a meeting before starting the work and then following up with an email or quote outlining what is going to be done and for how much.

    I think it’s important that in the initial stages of negotiating the work that you make it clear what the differences are in the packages you have and why you pay more for one over another. Make it clear which option they have chosen so they understand it.

    I also in most cases ask for an upfront deposit of 30% of the quote before starting work which I’ve never had a complaint about. Then if the client wants more then I simply tell them “YES, I can do that but it’s going to cost you $x extra and take an extra x number of days. Do you want still want it?” and then send them an updated quote with the additional work added in.

    Also, I don’t have an issue losing a client if I think they are too demanding compared to my other clients. I don’t see them as bad clients but rather clients that don’t fit my client profile and would be better served working with another company.

    #1018312
    Helen R
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    I’d like to understand your dislike for contracts? Even though they are a pain in the neck – it is the last time when you can go through with your client exactly what they are wanting and what the agreement is. It can also avoid “I thought…” syndrome.

    Helen



    Ambitious Minds

    #1018313
    Sean
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    I don’t really avoid clients. I just simply check first if I can do the job then will eventually close the deal. I also consider the way he/she talks to me. You will certainly have a clue if you can stand working on him/her for the entire project.

    #1018314
    Tony Pfitzner
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    It is very important to charge a deposit for the work you do. I believe you should also charge for detailed quotes that involve market analysis, detailed requirements analysis and strategy. It is your intellectual property and these type of quotes can be very time consuming if done properly.

    Outline the deliverables clearly in the quote, and possibly a list of some things that are NOT included. I don’t worry about a detailed legal type document, just a well constructed quote document itemising the deliverables, terms and conditions, milestones etc.

    Even with this it is still sometimes difficult to involve some scope creep when dealing with a client and getting caught up in their enthusiasm. Its a question of discipline.

    Regards

    Tony
    ____________________
    http://www.youronlinebusiness.com.au

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