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How to drop a difficult client?

(18 Posts)
googietheegg Tue 28-Aug-12 15:48:47

I've worked with this client for ages, but realised they pay the worst and give me the most hassle! I don't really need them anymore but would prefer to stay on good terms.

They've just given me a job which I farmed out but now they're wanting changes over and above normal amendments and I don't know what to say?

PooPooOnMars Tue 28-Aug-12 16:05:22

ergh! I've had this. I've never really known what to do about it so I'll be interested to see what replies you get.

For me it ended badly as eventually i had to say that it was so many changes (changing their minds rather than anything actually wrong) that financially it wasn't worth it for me. They even wanted me to do new work on old projects for free. Piss take!

Toughasoldboots Tue 28-Aug-12 16:10:03

You need to be firm and quote price along with changes. Dh has this a lot and it never stops until you charge properly.

watersign76 Tue 28-Aug-12 18:24:50

I have had similar in the past.

If ending on good terms is important to you, what about "This will have to be the final project I am afraid. I have secured a large contract which means I will unfortunately not have the time needed to concenrate on your work. I do have contacts that I'd be happy to refer you to for future work? Thanks very much for the opportunties you have given me etc".

Would that work?

googietheegg Tue 28-Aug-12 20:36:54

Yes its changing their mind usually, just semantics for the sake of it, or suggesting something really cheesy instead. Too many amendments takes my hourly rate right down! I just worry that I shouldnt be blase about work, but I have plenty without this client.

PooPooOnMars Tue 28-Aug-12 20:59:35

Yeah, the more changes, the more work, the less you are earning per hour.

And the cheesy changes! I am guessing you are a designer? I always find the cheesy changes come from people in the sales (or similar) position in the company rather than anyone who actually knows about design. They get all carried away with their 'ideas' that completely miss the point, look bloody awful and waste my time.

DolomitesDonkey Wed 29-Aug-12 08:24:01

Explain that changes will be charged, and don't be "kind" about the charges - make the charges worth your time, none of this "oh I'll just charge 50% because maybe I should've been clearer". Because it's not just an extra bit of work, it's extra admin too.

Explain your new pricing policy and also say that you are happy to refer them on to someone else for future work if you no longer are able to meet their cost expectations.

mistlethrush Wed 29-Aug-12 08:27:40

I would a) put your prices up for them and b) be extremely specific about what's included - eg 1 set of changes and anything beyond that (apart from eg typos which I'm sure wouldn't be there by then anyway) you will require a subsequent payment, payable prior to the changes being carried out.

MoreBeta Wed 29-Aug-12 08:33:33

Raise your fees.

I used to work with a management consultant who had an iron rule. He said that he often went into firms and analysed their businesses and routinely found that 20% of customers generate 80% of profits while the other 80% of cusomers generate the other 20%.

His standard advice (which he applied to his own business) was focus on the 20% of clients who generate the 80% of profit and love them to death. Then cull the remaining 80% of clients (or raise their profitability to you) by increasing the fees you charge them.

Most clients are actually quite insensitive to fee rasies if you do a good a job.

googietheegg Thu 30-Aug-12 20:19:24

Great advice!

Quick update- I emailed and raised fees and suggested he could find someone more junior if he couldnt pay more, he replied he wanted to pay the same and keep working with me as he's happy with the arrangement!!! <facepalm>

So now what?!

DolomitesDonkey Thu 30-Aug-12 20:35:17

Phone him. Say there seems to have been a misunderstanding and to re-iterate, you no longer work for X rate and your recommendation is Y.

He's expecting you to rollover without a whimper!

PooPooOnMars Thu 30-Aug-12 20:36:23

Does the extra money still not make it worth it?

mistlethrush Thu 30-Aug-12 21:36:10

So, he has not agreed to the new fee rates?

If he hasn't, you're not doing the work... 'I'm sorry, but I can no longer afford to work for that rate, my rate has increased to x. Please note that my terms cover only one set of changes, and any subsequent editing will be charged for, with the anticipated payment required prior to the changes being made.'

mysweetie Sun 16-Sep-12 15:55:52

lol,. Attached here is the letter(edited) Isent to my client,. so I can raise my rate..

Hi John,

I sincerely appreciate your offer I maybe able to do this for $* month (every 3 days, combined every 15 days).

Please don't take this the wrong way. I like getting hired for a job and I sincerely appreciate job invites/job offers because it means money,

But the manual extraction and hotel ID matching takes time, aside from the fact that I have a lot of things going on outside *****, So I am just grabbing the best oppurtunities at hand.

Im sorry if it takes me some time to reply because I had to think it over, you were my first precious employer in my freelancing career so I can't make harsh decision that I can't commit. So I'd rather offer my price and if we will agree on the price that will be good.

But if not, I know that this is a golden opportunity and it is a shame to let it go, but I'd rather choose to decline your offer than accept it and not be able to deliver efficiently.

I really had a great time working with you and I hope we could do this again. Please let me know if you have any questions.

All the best!

mysweetie[sweetie]----and this works for me...she gave in for my

TalkinPeace2 Sun 16-Sep-12 22:01:26

ramp up the fees
bill up front to make the point ultra clear

NiceBiscuits Sun 16-Sep-12 23:04:53

What happened in the end?

Bit late for this particular job, but maybe get a fee proposal agreed before starting, using stages. State how many 'sets' of changes are included in each stage, and that any more than this will be charged at your hourly rate of £whatever it is.

An alternative to billing the whole lot up front is to bill at the end of each stage, and not proceed to the next stage until the previous one has been completed and paid for.

SleepBeckons Sun 23-Sep-12 21:17:24

It is standard practice to greet each change request with a quote.

Don't get into a debate, or start giving explanations. Give a quote for the additional work, and don't start it until you have received confirmation that the price is accepted.

DolomitesDonkey Mon 24-Sep-12 11:57:18

Bump. Any news OP?

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