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Divorce those clients!

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Steve KownackiDivorce those clients!
by on Nov 18, 2009 at 2:19:48 pm

From my pal Patrick Ortman. Ditch those grinders!
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704328104574520112839377366.h...

Steve



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Mark SuszkoRe: Divorce those clients!
by on Nov 18, 2009 at 3:26:12 pm

It is one of the scariest and most doubt-filled decisions a businessman can make. Everything in your DNA and upbringing screams in protest against it, particulalrly if you've been in sales or support services a long time. But sometimes instinct is wrong, and you have to apply passionless Vulcan logic. The needs of the many, etc.

The more hard data and facts you have about any situation like this, the more comfortable and considered the decision will be.


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Ryan MastRe: Divorce those clients!
by on Nov 18, 2009 at 4:28:07 pm

Aye. I recently fired my first client, and it was liberating -- freed up a lot of mind space. Helped that I had a couple other people from the office listening in for moral support.

However... how do you protect your reputation while dropping a client? What do you do to help prevent them from talking poorly about you afterwards and harming your reputation?


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Nick GriffinRe: Divorce those clients!
by on Nov 18, 2009 at 4:51:48 pm

[Ryan Mast] "However... how do you protect your reputation while dropping a client? What do you do to help prevent them from talking poorly about you afterwards and harming your reputation?"

How? Carefully and tactfully -- especially difficult when what you really want to do is tell them where to shove their business.

One way that worked for me (I hope, because it's too soon to know if they'll try to trash us with others) was to use the excuse that "the timing just isn't good right now." I explained that they needed (and wanted) a lot of attention that we simply didn't have the time to give at the moment.

Then I called around to those of our clients who know these people and, in some cases, work with them. I let them hear from me that we had decided to withdraw because they wanted a different deal than everyone else. With some I also explained how the 'dumpee' boasted about how they found ways to stiff other vendors. (To this day I have NO IDEA what they were thinking while they were telling ME this stuff.) Now if they want to trash us at least the people who matter the most have already heard my side of the story.


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Zane BarkerRe: Divorce those clients!
by on Nov 18, 2009 at 5:53:09 pm

[Ryan Mast] "However... how do you protect your reputation while dropping a client? What do you do to help prevent them from talking poorly about you afterwards and harming your reputation?"

If the client is so bad that you must drop them then anyone else that works with them is going to know just like you do how bad they are to work with. When a person like that starts badmouthing others nobody ever really listens to them.



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Steve KownackiRe: Divorce those clients!
by on Nov 18, 2009 at 6:30:00 pm

Goes back to the 80/20 rule - 80% of the biz comes from 20% of your clients. Focus on that 20%.

Take the bad ones off your mailing list and other communications. Basically ignore them politely. If they request a bid, don't bid. If you do bid, make it worth your while kindly explaining to them that to do the job correctly and for me to function as a business the number is (insert astronomical number here).

This is actually a great opportunity to create a great client. Some will always be the grinder, but I've found that once educated to proper habits (be it scheduling, paying, whatever), a poor client can become your biggest advocate.




Steve



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cowcowcowcowcow
Fernando MolRe: Divorce those clients!
by on Nov 18, 2009 at 11:55:26 pm


When a client ask me for for a discount I'm not willing to give I say: "If you think this project worths the investment, I'll be happy to work on it."

I try to never say no, even when I say it.

*Always share a link to your site and rate the posts. This is a free service for you and for us.


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grinner hesterRe: Divorce those clients!
by on Nov 20, 2009 at 1:21:28 am

I have one client who has fallen on his head too many times. I weeded him out a year or two agao and when he cornered me and asked me why, I explained it was because he always tried to shake me down for freeby gigs. He first acted offended... then sad... then he hit me up for another freeby.
lol




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Rebecca GillaspieRe: Divorce those clients!
by on Nov 20, 2009 at 7:36:41 am

I'll take all the clients that you divorce!

Here's the bottom line. Basically, if any relationship isn't mutually beneficial then it's time to call it quits. Generally though, this should be done at an early stage. You get a good idea after one project if you want to work together again.

Also, if business is really good, and too much is being put on your plate, then that means it's time to raise your rate.

Client, Significant Other, Mother In Law, it doesn't matter who it is, if someone is upsetting you or treating you unfairly and you're suffering, then dump them. But before you do so, take a look in the mirror and figure out if the situation that you're in and that you're not happy in is truly the fault of the client, or perhaps comes from within.

"Imagination is more important than knowledge." Albert Einstein

Rebecca Gillaspie
Producer, Editor
rgillaspie@gmail.com


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Ryan MastRe: Divorce those clients!
by on Nov 22, 2009 at 10:40:59 pm

On a related note, do any of you have clauses in your contracts that give you an out if the client expects more out of you than you originally agreed upon? Have you ever dropped a client in the middle of a project?


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Scott CarnegieRe: Divorce those clients!
by on Nov 23, 2009 at 7:16:49 pm

Yes I have.

I had a contract to tape a live sports event multi-camera and edit it into a final program. I had done this same thing for this client in the past and they were the very definition of grinders, so in the contract I had an "out" clause. Music was used during the live event that was copyright protected that I would have to edit out in the final program, even though I told them way ahead of time not to do that (they'd done it in the past) and I provided a stock music library for them to choose tracks from.

The live event was a dogs breakfast production wise; between not being given enough time to properly set-up the cameras, having the budget scraped back and back to where I has a skeleton crew and couldn't trouble shoot, to not being respected when I told them I needed 5 minutes to fix a camera problem in between matches (it was a pro wrestling show) and then the copyright thing.

After a few weeks of contemplating, I sent them their shoot tapes back along with a cheque for a refund for the post they had already paid for, and that was it. When they asked for a reason why I said that the problems caused during production (including the things I warned them about ahead of time) could be fixed in post but would be out of the budget range they had apporved. I knew they didn't want to spend more so they hired someone internally to do it, I don;t think it was ever put together.

The owner threatened to sue me. They ran one more live event and went out of business.


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