My clients often think that I only work for them. I’m sure you have come across them in your line of work, whether you are an employee reporting to someone else, or you work for yourself. They expect you to answer every time they call you, get back to you within 10 minutes when they ask you to do something, and everything, I mean EVERYTHING is urgent. If you’ve ever had a job, you know this type of person. I like to label these people as the ‘Need it Now’ peeps. Whatever you do for a living, you absolutely know these people. They send you emails at 2 in the morning saying they need something at 9 am, not realizing that time is 7 hours away. They call you at Ten saying they need something by 12. You know the drill.
I have one of these clients in my life right now, and it’s almost time for that little conversation with them saying ‘I have many clients, and you don’t pay me enough to get the kind of specialized service you want’, but phrased a bit nicer.
Sometimes, I don’t think I have the patience for these clients, but I don’t want to lose the paycheck. Well, at least not yet.
When I get to more clients than I can handle, then I will officially take a step back and probably implement the 80-20 rule (I learned that from reading the book 4 hour work week), and cut out some of the more needy clients to free up my time for the better ones.
Seriously, when someone pays you a hundred bucks to do a logo for them, and they want it turned around in 7 hours, that’s a bit ridiculous. I’ve done it before, and can do logos very quickly, but there’s a point to going back and forth to see what the client wants. You never produce something in graphic design on the first try. N-E-V-E-R.
I ran into one of my needy clients at a coffee shop just outside my neighborhood last week, and found out he works close by. When he asked what I was doing at the coffee shop, I smiled and retorted that I met a friend there, so he didn’t think that I lived close by. I would rather not have clients know where I live.
The other thing that bugs me about some of my clients is when they don’t get back to me within a couple days. I’m fine putting off a project, or allowing sufficient time for people to get back to me, but I explicitly ask on all of my follow up emails to have clients get back to me within 24-48 hours, so I can proceed and finish their project.
This doesn’t happen very often, because I have more of the needy type clients, but it does happen from time to time.
Alas, my business is not big enough to cut out clients, but you can be sure that when that happens, and it will, I will be cutting out some people from the contact list. Believe that!