BUSINESS AND MARKETING: Business and Marketing Forum Business and Marketing Articles

GREAT Clients

COW Forums : Business & Marketing

<< PREVIOUS   •   FAQ   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
Patrick Ortman
GREAT Clients
on Jun 24, 2010 at 5:19:56 pm

I know they exist. Here's our latest great client story (please add yours, if you're inclined):

About 8 months ago, I was contacted by a potential client (we'll call him Ron) who'd seen our website and wanted to bring us in as his digital agency. I sent Ron our initial client worksheet (I have these set up on Wufoo.com for potential clients, it helps us get a feel for the client, their needs, and their budget expectations), and he filled it out. We then had our initial client call, and we hit it off.

Unfortunately, the economy then impacted Ron's plans so he had to put things on hold. Thinking that was it, we moved on.

Then, about two months ago, Ron reappeared. He told me he's made the commitment to really get his company out there, and that he'd decided to retain us as his digital agency.

Here's where the good stuff happened:

Ron told me he knew we'd have a lot of work to do, over several projects, and didn't want us to worry about money. He didn't want to spend too much, but he wanted us to be comfortable and give him our best work. He then gave us a decent deposit check, and we agreed to work on an hourly basis plus expenses for him.

Well, about a month ago we realized that the very first project we would be doing for Ron was running into problems. It was a website migration from a Microsoft platform to open source, and it was not going well. Perhaps the previous developer did some nasty things, perhaps not. But we incurred about $6,000 of cost overruns beyond what we'd told Ron the project should run (while we are on an hourly plus expenses basis, we do give Ron general estimates on particular jobs).

We notified Ron about this, and I gave him a breakdown of the time spent on this project. Ron got back to me within two minutes, telling me he appreciated our candor and that he's still onboard and trusts that we're doing what's best for him.

Shortly thereafter, we got some new reports from Google- our migration work had made a huge positive impact on Ron's Google rankings. Woohoo! Ron was elated. We were, too.

Our next projects for Ron include a new website and a ton of RED video production work. So far, Ron's been incredibly supportive and has not flinched when we've wanted to do things like rent a greenscreen stage for the day, set up a good solid film crew, and charge for rental items, including a RED Rocket portable system.

So far, Ron trusts us and he knows we'll do the right thing by him. And he's right- Ron's an awesome guy, and a great client, and we work really hard for him. Similarly, we trust Ron to treat us with respect and pay us fairly, and on time.

I know, perhaps there's nothing so remarkable in this story. After all, it's how things SHOULD work in our world, right? Unfortunately, that's not always the case. But when we get a client like Ron, it makes me remember why we started our company and it makes coming to work a joy. That's huge, and I wanted to share.



---------------------
http://www.patrickortman.com
Web and Video Design


Return to posts index

Glen Montgomery
Re: GREAT Clients
on Jun 24, 2010 at 8:32:59 pm

Thanks for sharing a good one. Its nice to hear some positives in a world so wrapped up in the sky falling right now. Best of luck with "Ron".


Editor / Motion Graphics Artist
http://www.GlenMontgomeryIII.com


Return to posts index

Ron Lindeboom
Re: GREAT Clients
on Jun 24, 2010 at 8:38:15 pm

Great report, Patrick.

But be careful and never add another client named Ron.

Why?

As they always say, "Remember, two Rons do not make a right."

Best,

Ron Lindeboom


Return to posts index


Mick Haensler
Re: GREAT Clients
on Jun 25, 2010 at 11:51:02 am

[Ron Lindeboom] "As they always say, "Remember, two Rons do not make a right." "

I'm one of them and I can guarantee you, WE never say that....under any circumstance.....

Furthermore, it should never ever be uddered on the Cow again....



Mick Haensler
Higher Ground Media


Return to posts index

Mark Suszko
Re: GREAT Clients
on Jun 25, 2010 at 2:40:42 pm

Then you would have to "Do Ron-Ron..." Sounds very musical.


Return to posts index

Patrick Ortman
Re: GREAT Clients
on Jun 25, 2010 at 5:18:20 pm

Oh no! All the best witty replies have been posted. :-). Thanks, guys!



---------------------
http://www.patrickortman.com
Web and Video Design


Return to posts index


cowcowcowcowcow
grinner hester
Re: GREAT Clients
on Jun 25, 2010 at 5:50:59 pm

I hear ya. I often can't call my best clients clients at all because they have become such great friends.
This has been a tight year for my family and I. Last week, my cruisin' vessel up a died:





A client I know as a friend now called me when he saw this video with a "you could probably use some cash for some new wheels. How 'bout we revise the video you made for my band tomorrow so you can replace the cruisin' vessel?"
Gold.
Dude didn't need revisions. He wanted to give me some money. We revised because we are old school men who require work for such a thing.
What a great guy.



Return to posts index

Patrick Ortman
Re: GREAT Clients
on Jun 25, 2010 at 5:54:37 pm

WOW. I am impressed, and yes- the best clients do feel much more like friends!


---------------------
http://www.patrickortman.com
Web and Video Design


Return to posts index

Ron Lindeboom
Re: GREAT Clients
on Jun 25, 2010 at 6:11:41 pm

[Patrick Ortman] "yes- the best clients do feel much more like friends!"

That is one of the reasons that over the years, Kathlyn and I have continued working with some of the companies that we believed in that were in dire straits and we had to carry them for a while. Most all of them -- oh, there were rare exceptions -- stayed with us once they recovered and once again had money to spend.

Some of our most loyal companies are companies that were once in some precarious situations that we weathered with them and helped them get back on their feet.

The ones who were disingenuous and were working us, can no longer stand us (guilt maybe?) but the majority whom we've helped wouldn't trade us for anyone else. They know that we cared about them as people and with that kind of relationship in place, it's tough for anyone trying to break that relationship and take that client.

This requires that you REALLY know who is being real with you and who is just trying to work you. Most all of the companies with whom we've had to do this are still with us. And as to the others? They are far less onerous when I look away from them and keep my eyes on the ones whom we've helped who couldn't be dislodged from us with dynamite.

Most people are pretty decent sorts, and in learning to deal with the rest I simply remember the words of the sergeant from Hill Street Blues: "Be careful out there!"

Best regards,

Ron Lindeboom
CEO, CreativeCOW.net

Creativity is a type of learning process where the teacher and pupil are located in the same individual.

Graveyards are full of people the world couldn't do without.



Return to posts index


cowcowcowcowcow
Jason Jenkins
Re: GREAT Clients
on Jun 25, 2010 at 10:49:58 pm

[Ron Lindeboom] "That is one of the reasons that over the years, Kathlyn and I have continued working with some of the companies that we believed in that were in dire straits and we had to carry them for a while. Most all of them -- oh, there were rare exceptions -- stayed with us once they recovered and once again had money to spend."

Interesting that this subject came up now. Just yesterday I got a call from a client that I produced a promotional video for last year. They are a start-up and I knew at the time that they were spending the last of their money to pay me. Nevertheless, they paid me well and I made a great video for them. Since then, they have been working on procuring some government contracts. In our conversation yesterday, they again expressed appreciation for my video work, which has been their best sales tool. But, they were afraid that their hastily created website had the potential for leaving a bad impression. I offered to spend a few hours upgrading their website –on deferred payment. They can pay me when they get the next contract. If they don't get a contract, they don't owe me.

Today my client got a call from a company who had a potential job for them next week in Texas. Cringing inside, he gave them the URL so they could check out the website. He had to bite his tongue to keep himself from making excuses for the shoddy website. After he got off the phone with the prospect, he went to look at his website, hoping to convince himself that it really wasn't that bad. Lo and behold, it had been transformed! He didn't know it, but last night after our conversation, I stayed up until after 3am tweaking their website. I added in some nice graphical elements that I had used in their video, fixed about 20 misspelled words and even rewrote some of the copy. It won't win any web design awards, but it is much improved. He was very happy.

It made me feel great! And when the contracts come in for them, guess who they will be calling for more video work!

Jason Jenkins
Flowmotion Media
Video production... with style!


Return to posts index

Patrick Ortman
Re: GREAT Clients
on Jun 25, 2010 at 11:05:10 pm

Yes! Above and beyond expectations! That's what we're all in this for, I think, at the end of the day. Excellent story!

---------------------
http://www.patrickortman.com
Web and Video Design


Return to posts index

Ron Lindeboom
Re: GREAT Clients
on Jun 26, 2010 at 1:08:00 am

Yes, human beings need to trust their "spiritual instincts" more. MOST (not all) times over the years, the ones that I thought were trustworthy, were just that. Oh there have been some nasty exceptions but I'd rather not let the idiots color my worldview to the point that I no longer trust people.

One of my earliest accounts was a bottled water company for whom I did all their TV ads, print, brochures, design work, etc., etc.

I took them over when their old agency couldn't think of a successful way to address a "marketing black eye" that the company had gotten by (what the newspapers reported as) some contaminated water being delivered to a college. The old agency said "Ignore it and it will go away."

Their business dropped and dropped because no one trusted them. The competition's drivers were having no trouble converting the company's customers to their customers instead.

Things weren't blowing over.

I told the company's president: "Let's put a face on the company by addressing the matter, remind them of the many years you have been around, and let's address the fact that the issue was traced back to a janitor at the school (who worked for them) who would finish cleaning restrooms, classes, etc., and without washing his hands would refill the empty dispensers." He would reach down and grab the bottles by the mouth and lift the bottle to the stand and as he turned it to mount on the stand, one of the investigators that the company hired had photos of the man with his hands on the mouth and water running through his fingers. (A picture truly is worth a thousand words -- and sometimes many many thousands of dollars, too.)

I ended it all by telling him that he'd have to apologize, no one else could do it and while recognizing that the issue was not directly due to their company, he'd have to "own it" and talk about educating customers in schools, offices, etc., about the need for safe handling of bottled water.

He liked it and did it.

I kept that company as an account for many many years, through thick and thin. I always got paid even when it was tough times and they were not doing well. We respected one another and they were one of the best accounts that I ever had. Sometimes when things were tight, I'd let them slide and they always made things right for me in the end.

Thankfully, grinders only make up the bottom 15% of the market -- that leaves an 85% chance that the person you are looking at will not cheat you.

Put yourself in their shoes and sell them the keenest thought you can muster that serves and addresses their need -- if you get the chance to pitch it. Otherwise, be "Dumbo" and have the biggest ears you can muster as you serve them.

Those are a couple of lessons that I have learned over the years when dealing in these kinds of "rough waters" that have been discussed in the last few threads.

Best regards,

Ron Lindeboom
CEO, CreativeCOW.net

Creativity is a type of learning process where the teacher and pupil are located in the same individual.

Graveyards are full of people the world couldn't do without.



Return to posts index


Neil Hurwitz
Re: GREAT Clients
on Jun 25, 2010 at 6:41:56 pm

What, No new job with a 5 figure increase?
I'm Shocked, Shocked I tell you

Neil Hurwitz


Return to posts index

David Roth Weiss
Re: GREAT Clients
on Jun 25, 2010 at 7:43:00 pm

[Neil Hurwitz] "What, No new job with a 5 figure increase? "

Raise the budget 5-cents and there's Grinner's five figure increase.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™

EPK Colorist - UP IN THE AIR - nominated for six academy awards

A forum host of Creative COW's Apple Final Cut Pro, Business & Marketing, Indie Film & Documentary, and Film History & Appreciations forums.


Return to posts index

grinner hester
Re: GREAT Clients
on Jun 28, 2010 at 7:36:57 pm

What does a cool client have to do with a pay raise folks should get when the move up the staffing ladder?
Not following ya.



Return to posts index

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
© 2017 CreativeCOW.net All Rights Reserved
[TOP]