Handling clients is not at all any easy thing. People in the business world have to deal with all kinds of clients. Each designer will have a story to tell about good and bad clients that they have dealt with. We all end up dealing with that one client who tries his level best to make things worse for us. Apart from handing over complicated projects, they load the designers with whole lot of complaints. Such are the clients who are very difficult to satisfy. On one hand they would not get into effective communication to avoid misunderstandings and on the other hand they will continue with their demands that are almost impossible to fulfill. They will expect you to make major changes in no time and they won’t be willing to pay you extra for that as well. Sounds like a difficult client no?
If you are a freelancer, you will have to deal with a lot of clients like this. Stop looking for escapes because there aren’t any. You will have to deal with such clients on and off no matter what. Freelancers have to deal with such people more because in most cases, freelancers have less options. Such clients can take you on the verge of hating your career. Apart from a difficult client, even a regular client can be very difficult to deal with in some cases. Some clients have so many rules, regulations and restrictions to follow that it becomes almost next to impossible for a designer to even come up with a design.
Having said that, happy clients are the only way to survive in the business world so keeping them satisfied is very important. As a freelance designer, in order to pay your bills, you have to listen to all kinds of clients and if you handle them effectively, the irritating factor might disappear. Following tips will definitely help you a lot in dealing with client demands in an effective manner:
Presenting Your Ideas:
Technically, when a client is paying you for your work, he should be getting a project done on his own demands. As a designer, you should try your level best to provide them with what they really want. However, a lot of people will trust you with the creativity factor so if you present your ideas in a good way, you can get rid of a lot of hassle.
If you have a great idea, you need to present it in an absolutely amazing way in order to convince your client on your creativity. In order to do this you need to understand your client in a very good way. Do not interrupt him while he is talking. By listening to them, you will be able to present your ideas in their way which they will love. Before you discuss your ideas with them, make sure you do your research and home work. You should always have good reasons to support your designs. Always remember, putting in a little extra effort can save you from a lot of hassle so it is always worth trying.
Setting Parameters of Dos and Don’ts:
If you handle projects cleverly, you can definitely lessen a lot of problems created by clients. In most cases, I have seen clients complaining about the fact that deadlines were not met. In most cases, clients expect you to complete your job within no time even if it takes a lot of extra hours on work. However, they are never willing to pay more for the extra hours. One thing that you should always keep in mind is that every project should have a contract to avoid any sort of misunderstandings. Every contract should include a clause regarding your compensation for overtime. Be very upfront and blunt about their requirements. Do let them know that what they want can be very time taking. Also, your contract should have a clause regarding revision of the project as well. Do mention the allowed number of revisions because some clients continue to ask for changes and in most cases changing things once the project is complete, is very difficult indeed. This contract can actually work as your protection shield and can save you from a lot of hassle for sure.
As mentioned above, contract and terms and conditions are way too important. Make sure that whenever you sign a new project, you get a working contract signed. A lot of contract samples can be found online to save your time and money of hiring a lawyer who can do this for you. A contract attorney can help you with drafting your contract. If visiting a lawyer is your nightmare, you don’t have to. Such contracts save you from unlimited revisions of the projects demanded by the client.
Always remember, you are a Designer:
Half of the clients that you will work with will have no idea about designing. Always remember that you are the designer and you know your work better than anyone else. A lot of clients do not even know what is required for their project. In such cases you need to be patient and make them understand what is good and bad for their project. In such cases you should be able to communicate in a very effective manner because making clueless clients understand things can be a very difficult and tiring job. Do not use hardcore designing language. Use as many simple words as you can in order to avoid confusion and make them understand in a better way. Your good communication skills can definitely help you and your client in working together in a better way.
Slow Down, Take Things Slowly:
Even if you are good at your work and even if you can produce quality work in short span of time, you should always try to be an underachiever. If you are handing the work to client sooner than he expects, you are only spoiling him. Do not expect compliments for this. In fact you will end up with more work and less perks. In most cases, designers do not take much time in designing. It is convincing client that is difficult and time taking. Getting the client on the same level can be very tiresome. As a freelancer, instead of speeding things up, you should try to slow down and enjoy your creativity. Under promising is always better because then your client will really appreciate what you will deliver as the expectations will be lower.