From Fast Company, Melissa Chu provides excellent guidance about how to avoid nightmare clients. One of the great bits of advice Melissa offers is to separate core clients from prospective clients who are just looking around. Melissa writes:
2. DISTINGUISH BETWEEN “COST” AND “VALUE” CLIENTS
If you’ve been speaking with a prospect about your services, money will come up eventually, which is usually a good thing—you want to get paid. The question is how and when that conversation takes place.
In my experience, there are generally two types of clients: the “cost” client and the “value” client. The former focuses on getting work done at the lowest price possible, with quality more of an afterthought. The “value” client, on the other hand, wants the work done right and is interested in the value you can provide. Cost is secondary, as long as you provide high-quality work.
Most freelancers generally prefer to have value-driven clients. If that’s you, here are some phrases to look out for in your earliest exchanges, which could signal a client who’s more focused on cost:
- “$200? I could get that from someone else for $20.”
- “I’m poor and don’t have any money.” (I’ve heard this from people who are multi-millionaires.)
- The very first question is, “How much will that cost?”
Despite your best efforts, some people will focus only on cost and not on the value you provide. If that happens, it may be time to walk away—those can quickly become nightmare clients. Not every prospect you speak with will wind up working with you, and that’s okay.
Read the full story at The Freelancer’s Guide To Avoiding Nightmare Clients