Yesterday’s video post titled When is it time to dump a client brought some thoughts from (TGM reader) RhymingDesigner on when to just say no to a client.
Saying no to a potential client is difficult to do, especially when you’re first starting out, or the economy has brought the stream of new business to a halt. But saying no can actually improve your situation in some cases, by freeing up time, creativity and not putting yourself in a difficult situation later.
Here is his list of 12 times you should say no to a client:
- They expect you to drop what you’re doing and meet with them today
- They ask for a discount right away
- They balk at paying a deposit to get the work started
- They balk at signing a contract
- They want to change several terms of your tried-and-true contract
- They can’t give you a clear idea of what they want (“Just start!”)
- They want to pay next to nothing, with the promise of some big jobs in
the future (the oldest trick in the book?)
- There is no point person (so they will be reviewing the work by
- They have no offices or at least appearance of stability
- They have a track record of going through designers like crazy (and
the old designers were always at fault)
- There doesn’t seem to be much respect for your expertise
- Your gut reaction is that something’s just not right (trust your
instinct and bolt for the door)
In my experience, #6 is the most deadly. You accept a job and everything appears on the up-and-up. The client is looking for something completely fresh, so has no restrictions or thoughts on what the piece of work should look like. You end up spending countless hours coming up with multiple concepts only to find out that they had something very specific in mind, and quite frankly, it sucks!