Be Firm With Clients the Right Way
If you’re freelance designer then I would automatically assume that you work with clients on a daily basis. While owning your own business is a dream come true for most of us, there are times when we have to deal with clients that we aren’t necessarily enthusiastic about. The type of clients I’m talking about are the greedy type of clients who want you to give away the house for free. This can be frustrating because we value our own work and we value our time as well. When you’re first starting out, your first instinct may be to do whatever it takes to make the client happy. However, it’s better to be firm with clients. If you aren’t firm with your clients, then many of them will try to take advantage of you. It is important to understand how to be firm with your clients in a professional way.
Some Try to Take Advantage
You can’t let clients take advantage of you. Have you ever heard of the phrase “if you give them an inch they’ll take a mile?” This is especially true with your design clients. If they think for a second that they can get you to do something and not charge them, then they’ll jump all over you. Don’t let this happen. If you give away something once, they will expect you to do it over and over again.
Be firm with clients about your personal time. Set definitive work hours that you are available for contact. When clients contact you after hours, let it go to voicemail. It’s okay for them to leave a voice message, so that you can get back to them the next day. Be sure to follow up with them the next morning, but be sure not to answer their calls after business hours. If you answer their call once after business hours, then they will expect for you to be at their beck and call 24 hours a day, seven days per week. You definitely do not want this. You have to have a separation between work and your personal life.
Be Firm With Your Prices
Be firm with clients about your prices. It is okay for you to offer a package deal that includes many different services. This is typical for many different types of design businesses. However, don’t wet your client try to negotiate your price down to a cheaper amount. This devalues your work, and tells the client that you are willing to settle for less money for the same work. This also makes you appear desperate for work, which makes the client think they can get away with whatever they want.
Be Firm About Payments
Be firm with your clients about when payments are due. Do not let clients give you the runaround about when they will pay you. In the initial contract that your client signs, you should include a set schedule of when payments are expected. You should also put in the contract that if payments aren’t received, then work will be halted until that payment is received. You can’t work for free, and nothing is guaranteed. A client could walk away at any second and leave you with an unpaid project. This means that you spent valuable time that you could be working on a paying clients work, on a client that’s not going to pay you. Send them an invoice and give them a certain amount of days to pay it. You can’t expect a payment the same day that you send an invoice, but you can give them between five and 10 days to pay the invoice. This means it’s also a good idea to send invoices ahead of time. This will ensure that payments are sent in on time and that they had ample time to get their payment ready. It’s okay to be firm with clients, but don’t be a jerk.
Stay in Control
Be sure to stay in control. Don’t ever let clients feel like they are in control of you. It is your business, and you will run it your way. Letting your clients be in control of things means that you are essentially working for someone else. If you are like me, you own your own business so that you can work and live how you choose. Don’t let clients invade your personal life, pay whenever they feel like it, or pay whatever they feel like. Don’t let this happen. Your work is valuable, and they came to you for your services. This means that they recognize that your work is important. It is important to have confidence in yourself and your services, in order to let the client know that you have certain expectations.
Knowing how to be firm with clients is a part of owning your own business. While a lot of clients are an absolute pleasure to work with, there are certain clients out there that will try at every opportunity to take advantage of you. Being kind, a good person, and a good business owner can go hand in hand, however being naïve doesn’t go along with this. Stay strong, be firm, deliver your work on time, and blow away their expectations. By being firm with clients that will try to take advantage of you, you can weed out these clients if they have especially bad intentions. This will save you a lot of time and frustration, and allow you to make more money by focusing on clients that are more worthwhile.