Through my 10 years of running my business, I’ve met all kinds of clients.
The Ideal Clients
The best ones trust you, check on you a little to make sure things are in order and let you be after that. They negotiate on prices a little but don’t squeeze you. They understand that as a small company, we need to roll our money and every sen counts. They make sure that a deposit is paid to confirm our services and for us to book the suppliers weeks before the event. The bigger clients might have a few payment steps to take which delays payment to us but they are there constantly reminding their finance departments that we have to be paid ASAP.
These clients tend to become friends even after the event and understand that sometimes things don’t go as planned and that we’re there to make things go as smoothly and as stress free as possible.
The ” I want it yesterday and I don’t care about you” Clients
Then there are prospects who give us a day or two to prepare a proposal, and then disappear completely after that, going the distance to avoid all points of contact and an initial discovery meeting even. We don’t expect to win all contracts, but a simple “yes” or “no” after rushing your proposal will help us plan our days and proposals better. Should we spend more time nurturing and following up with these clients as they might have a whole team to convince or pursue new clients?
The “Give it all to me for free, others are doing it, anyway” Clients
These are clients so used to having other bigger agencies create complete working proposals during pitches and throwing freebies at them that they expect every other agency to do the same, even though smaller agencies tend to have less manpower to dedicate on working on pitches rather than on confirmed projects.
The “I want something different” Clients
These are the ones who expect the moon and the stars with a budget of a puddle.
The “I want the cheapest price from you but I’m keeping my options open” Client
These are the ones that are better of becoming your friend as they are a nightmare to deal with. They squeeze you for the lowest prices, do things last minute and refuse to commit or sign any agreement to say that they are engaging you. They tend to be nice people to be friends with but are not great business people.
The “I love it – it was awful!” Client
These clients are happy about almost everything you propose and express happiness and satisfaction upon delivery of service- until it’s time for payment. They’ll start pointing out “faults” and request for discounts or give excuses not to pay you.
It’s up to you how you deal with the different client personalities. For me, I’ve learnt that I’d rather wait for the ideal client so I enjoy my work with them than go through the unnecessary stress of dealing with nightmare clients even if it means not having a great brand in my portfolio.
Have you come across any of the above? How did you deal with them? Are you any of the above?