Friday, 30 September 2016

When is it time to pull the plug on a client?

Hi All,

I know you shouldn't really do this as it can sometimes backfire and affect your credibility and professionalism but... there are times when you have to say enough is enough. I'm talking about awkward clients and "dumb ass" assignments. 

Sometimes, no matter how much you bend over backwards to get everything as you think the client wants it, it's still not enough, and so you have to decide whether to carry on and put up with all the bulls*it or pull out altogether.

Just recently I was asked by a new client to write some copy for a brochure. The client gave me some basic information to work with, which had been lifted from the Internet. It was quite a technical subject based on analysis and awareness prior to the commencement of a major construction project. Basically, it was enmeshed in all that risk assessment stuff. It took me around 3 hours to get the draft completed and then I sent It over to the client.

A couple of days later, after sending several emails asking if all was okay, I get a reply saying it was not at all what he expected. He said he wanted something more sales oriented. Well, the subject does not really lend itself well to being the centre of a sales pitch, so from the start I assumed it was going to be an information piece.

This particular client was not one of my favourite types in any case. He haggled over the pricing of my work, decided to take a holiday (vacation) halfway through the first assignment, which was most inconvenient, and his English is not what you would call fluent. Needless to say it looked like I wasn't going to receive any recompense for all my efforts and so all things considered... I fired him.

You've just just to instinctively know when someone is messing you about or "jerking you around", as some of my US clients might say. So I cut my losses and moved on. Within an hour I got call from a potential client enquiring about whether I would be interested in writing up all the copy for his new website... which amounted to some 34 pages of content. I sent him a quote and before the end of the day we had agreed a deal.

In contrast then, this new client, who promptly sent me a 50% deposit, was more than willing to spend good money with me on quality content. He didn't haggle... he didn't question my abilities... and he agreed to my prices without hesitation. He also speaks perfect English and understands the language of sales and marketing. Now that's the kind of client I will always work with.

A silver lining perhaps?

If you're looking for top quality copy or a compelling video to help promote your products and services... get in touch.

All for now,