Ok, it’s time to be honest. We don’t absolutely love all of our clients… we work with them on a daily basis, but some of them DRIVE US NUTS! Before we start accusing our clients for being difficult to work with, let’s take a step back and ask ourselves why certain clients are the way they are and what we can do on our end to make the experience of working with them a more pleasant one.
Clients can be classified into 5 main groups:
1. HIGH MAINTENANCE
How to Identify Them: Usually first-timers when it comes to hiring professional designers.
How to Deal With Them: Be firm and clear on your intensions and your process.
Oftentimes it helps these types of clients if you give them instructions and/or a visual –
give them a timeline so they know when payments are due and when things are
expected of them.
2. HIGH EXPECTATIONS
How to Identify Them: They love the phrase “Can’t you just…” and always want
How to Deal With Them: Give these types of clients a breakdown of everything
they want done and the stages involved in getting it to the end result. Also, be
sure to agree on pricing based on the work involved. This will show them that
everything isn’t as simple as the snap of your fingers and you can avoid conflict
when it comes to invoicing.
3. TOTALLY UNREALISTIC
How to Identify Them: They’re new to the advertising world and have BIG dreams.
How to Deal With Them: Ask this type of client questions to help sift through the realistic
and unrealistic goals. If they still have overly ambitious goals, suggest a “Phase 2”.
Oftentimes clients will see that Phase 2 isn’t necessary because you included the
necessities in Phase 1.
4. STRAIGHT TO THE POINT
How to Identify Them: They know what they want and just need it done.
How to Deal With Them: We love these clients! They often come prepared with logos,
content, ect. but will still need something from you – confirmation. Be sure to confirm
with these types of clients that you understand their requests, what you plan to do
and by when.
How to Identify Them: They’re the ones you haven’t heard from in a while.
How to Deal With Them: These clients are gung-ho at the beginning, but their
excitement soon fizzles out. If you can’t get a response from your client on projects,
try setting dates for deadlines and explain what the repercussions are if these
deadlines aren’t met. If you still aren’t getting results, you may just have to let
the project die.
I’m sure you were able to classify some of your clients into each of those categories. I was definitely able to think of a few! Hopefully now though you can apply some of these tips when working with your clients for a more stress-free experience.
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Kristen Oaxaca, Graphic DesignerTags: