Clients From Hell


We love your work. But we can’t afford you.

When will I get that one client who will say “We love your work and because we want to work with you we’ll even take off our underwear and dance naked to get you to design for us.“?

Never I guess.
Never ever.

They see the portfolio, they see the client testimonials, they even get a fantastic recommendation from a previous client – but they just don’t want to pay! And they will re-iterate that they love your work – like it’s some kind of magic charm that will get me to work for them for free.

Negotiations are part of every job – I first ask the prospective client what is the value they attach to this kind of deliverable – how much have they budgeted for this – when they don’t tell me how much, I just go ahead and tell them what I want to charge – they will ALWAYS negotiate so it’s just better to quote what you really want to earn for that particular project.

After three weeks of hankering and negotiating the client will still tell you “Hey! We really do love your work but we can’t pay you want you’re asking.” When I ask them how much they are actually willing to pay, they come up with absurd amounts that are usually AT LEAST 25% of what I have quoted AFTER negotiation.

How may times will I tell propective clients to “Go to hell.”?


Filed under: from HELL

6 Responses

  1. the mrs says:

    I just read the last 5 or so posts, and I’m starting to hate your clients. At one point I had considered getting into what you do for a living, but I think I’d rather shovel horse crap or something like that. I can’t handle ignorant people =)

  2. Cinnamon says:

    Ugh! I hate that. I get that a lot myself and I just move on to the next prospective client. If they want me bad enough, they’ll come back.

  3. Hello to the Mrs and to Cinnamon – ’tis true – I guess you’re right – I too would prefer to do that [ move onto the next prospective client ] – but the problem is that most client who actually say that they love the work but can’t afford are people who can ACTUALLY afford to pay for my services. It’s worked for me in the past that after a couple of follow-up sessions, the client either gives a firm yes-nod or a firm no-nod and it’s all out of the way.

    Handling ignorant people is quite a pain actually, but it works out great if you invest some time in educating them politely – some of these people turn out to be some of the most thankful and loyal clients!

  4. Cinnamon says:

    I guess I’ve gotten cynical over the years – I try to help them, but honestly, if they are going to be more trouble than they are worth, I just let them go. Those that want $7/hr work are going to get just that. I don’t have time to deal with it.

  5. moseswilbur says:

    The naked thing would be nice, though. I mean, honestly.

  6. Yeah 🙂 It would be! I can just close my eyes and visualize a client dancing naked begging me to do a design engagement. Would be swell!

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