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11 DIFFERENT TYPES OF CLIENTS AND HOW TO DEAL WITH THEM.

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Tuesday, 12 August 2014
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1) The Passive-Aggressive (Mrs I DON’T REALLY KNOW WHAT I WANT):

This is the client who is very passive when you ask for initial input, but when you submit the
finished product, they aggressively attack it, demanding a lot of detailed changes, both major
and minor. They had an idea of what they wanted all along but kept it mostly to themselves.
Even though they showed appreciation of certain ideas and elements throughout the
development process, do not expect the passive-aggressive client to keep any of them as
they send revisions your way.

HOW TO DEAL WITH THIS:

Patience is the key. Expecting the last-minute requests for revisions may soften the blow of
the client’s aggressive behavior. Keep your original layered design intact so that you can
easily refine and change it later (not that you wouldn’t, but it does happen). Also, make sure
your contract specifies a limited number of revisions.Write out specificss and make client know that last minute re-work may attract extra charges.These types of Clients don’t always like to hear extra charges.

2) The Family Friend:

This is the client whom you have known for years either through personal or family
interaction, and this connection has landed you the job. The relationship will be tested and
perhaps marred forever by what could very well be a nightmare of a project. This family
friend believes he deserves a “special” price and unbridled access to your work. They will
sometimes unwittingly belittle your work or not take it seriously because of their personal
connection to you.They use sentences like “can you just put something together for me”;”how much would you charge me,you know we’ve come a long way together i don’t want to under price you” beware they actually want to under price you.

HOW TO DEAL WITH THIS:

The way to deal with this client depends on how well you know them and how much you
value your relationship with them. But remember that anyone who would take advantage of
such a relationship is not truly a friend, so respond accordingly. An honest approach could
end up saving the relationship. But start off with a professional, not personal, tone, and they
may follow your lead. Of course, if you truly value the relationship, you may want to pass on
the job altogether.

3) UNDER VALUER:

Like the family friend described above, this client will devalue your creative contributions. But
there is a difference: you do not actually know this person. There is no rationale for their
behavior. They feel they should get a “friend’s” pricing rate not because they want to be
friends with you, but because they do not see your work as being worth that much… even if
they couldn’t do it themselves. Not coming from a creative background or even having had
exposure to the arts can mar someone’s appreciation of the work that you do. After years in
our field, we make it look easy, and that is what the under-valuer sees.As a creative never make your work look so easy to any client except you are pitching for a job.

HOW TO DEAL WITH THIS:

Confidence is key here. You know what your work demands and how well you do your job.
The under-valuer will recognize this confidence. Don’t back down or concede a point to the
client when discussing your role in the project. Standing firm will establish the professional
and respectful tone you deserve. If the client does not respond in kind, cut your losses and
decline their project.

4) The Nit-Picker

This client is never fully satisfied with the work you do and will constantly pick on minor
details here and there that they dislike and want changed. Do not be surprised if they ask you
to change these same details over and over ad nauseam. It is not a sign of disrespect (as it
is with the other clients), but simply the nature of the person. They may have been burned in
some other project and are now unsatisfied with everything in their path, including your work.

HOW TO DEAL WITH THIS:

Once again, patience is important (especially if you have some sadistic reason for taking on
nit-picking clients). Try to detach yourself from the project as much as possible, so that the
constant nit-pickery does not affect you personally. It is easy to feel hurt or get defensive
when your work is repeatedly questioned, and you may begin to doubt your skill. But
understand that this is not about you or your talent; it is simply a personality trait of the
person you are dealing with. And once again, protect yourself in the contract.

5) The Scornful saver:

This client has similarities to the nit-picker and under-valuer but is actually impressed with
your work and skill set. They criticize you merely to undermine your confidence in an attempt
to lower your pricing rate. Unlike some other client types, the scornful saver understands
creative people and their processes. But they are cheap and manipulative, and their scheme
may have worked in their favor once or twice in the past. So, they continue to subtly abuse
the people they hire in the hope of saving every last penny.

HOW TO DEAL WITH THIS:

Once again, it is all about confidence. Having a solid understanding of your field and being
confident in your knowledge and abilities will keep this client’s manipulation in check.
Standing your ground and even calling the client on some of their tactics could shift the
balance of power over to you. Be prepared to walk away from the project if the disrespect
and manipulation continues. There will be other projects and other clients.

6) The “I-Could-Do-This-Myself”-er

Where to begin… When this client farms a project out to you, they make clear to you that they
know how to do what they’re hiring you to do but that just don’t have the time to actually do
it. They may be working at a firm or an entrepreneur; either way, you are there to pick up
their slack. If they’re at a firm, you could be in for an interesting situation; they were likely
hired for their particular style and proposals, and now you will have to please two sets of
people: the person who hired you and the people who hired him.

HOW TO DEAL WITH THIS:

The “I-Could-Do-This-Myself”-er will likely have recognized your talent and skill right away,
which is why they hired you. They merely want you to know that this project (and thus you)
is not above their ability. And though these reminders will grate on you periodically, they will
let you run with your ideas, perhaps offering suggestions or feedback on the final design.Always know you’re pleasing two people.

7) The Control Freak (mrs i care so much so it hurts)

This client desperately needs to micro-manage every little detail of the project, no matter their
qualifications. No decision may be made without their explicit input and approval. This
tiresome client forces himself into your workflow, heedless of either invitation or protest, and
will demand access to you at whim giving you little or no room to your ideas. The concepts of boundaries and strict work processes
are easily lost on the control freak, who constantly disrupts the flow. They may also believe
you lack dedication or preparedness, further reinforcing their need to interfere.

HOW TO DEAL WITH THIS:

If you absolutely must take on this client, for whatever reason, resign yourself to the fact that
you will not be steering at any point. You will have to detach yourself from the work because
you will have no control at all. You will merely be constructing, not designing, so just let go
and let it happen. You may want to exclude this project from your portfolio.

8) Hydra-headed-DECISION BY COMMITTEE:(mr & mrs i have to speak to the commitee befor they can approve your budget for the job)

These kind of clients are housed in blue chip companies and larger organisations.Their decisions are committee based.

SOLUTION:
Force them to appoint a single person to you as your own point of contact to their different situations that way you have successfully switched the control board to yourself.

9) Mr TGIF: party hard but no time to meet client deadlines:

He has hired you because he’s so lazy at his work but he enjoys spending his client’s hard earned money on booze and holiday trips-sending you emails at 3am in the morning,scheduling meetings for odd hours and wondering why you couldn’t complete the job on christmas day.

SOLUTION: Don’t be afraid to say no especially if his project would take a toll on your life and staff.

10) ABSCONDEE (Mr emergency-fire brigade approach): These clients disappear for days and just pops up on your menu demanding that a job has to be done and deadline is like right now.

SOLUTION: more often than not you may also have to stop these clients in their tracks and let them know you have other clients you are working on at the moment.If its ok by him he stays or leaves.They are never a loss to you.

11) THE DREAM CLIENT:Not widely dismissed as a myth, does in fact exist d understands the full scope and
artistry of your work. They value your role and creative contributions and want you in the
driver’s seat as soon as the project gets underway. They are timely with responses and
payments… payments that they did not “negotiate” but rather accepted for what they are.
They reflect on your suggestions and have confidence in your capabilities.

HOW TO DEAL: HAPPY ENDINGS.

Don’t brag! Just enjoy the ride and hold on to them for as long as you possibly can!
Wrap-up
Being able to identify the type of client you are dealing with will prepare you for the job
ahead. It will also help you decide whether to accept the job in the first place. Your contract
will reflect the power dynamics of the project, so the more you know about the client, the
better able you will be to adjust the contract as necessary. Have you come across other
types of clients in your freelancing career? Please let us know in the comments box.

compiled and posted by;@djshyluckjimmy

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