Coming to the end of our topic about good client relations I wanted to do a quick summary of some of the positive and negative attributes of both bigger and smaller clients.
Bigger clients take a lot more prospecting than smaller ones, finding the right person in a big organization can be tricky, and even if you can find them you may need to wait until current contracts run out before you can prospect them. Time is money and courting the bigger clients can be a little dangerous, and don’t forget that if you want their business many others will too.
One of the main motivators behind hunting a big name is that it will lead to more work. This certainly does happen, having a good name will make people much more likely to trust you, but probably not to the degree that you will be hoping. Having a few big clients starts moving you into another bracket, but there’s usually an awkward stage where you’re potentially putting off your traditional clients.
This will by in large depend on whom you’re dealing with, but I would say generally bigger clients have a much clearer picture of what exactly they want and how to tell you, this will usually result in less creative input. Sometimes its nice to know exactly what needs to be done and doing it, but the projects that I’ve seen not only been the most enjoyable, but also the most successful have been ones where there’s been a bit more of an open brief.
One of the weird things about bigger clients is in many ways they have lower expectations. Not in terms of quality but in terms of the scope of the work they will want from you. Sometimes smaller clients are guilty of wanting everything and the kitchen sink, but bigger clients will often be hiring you for a specific purpose.
One negative on bigger clients is that they are notoriously slow payers. They can often have60 or even 90 days payment terms which can be painful for anyone. Chasing them is also harder as they are bigger. Try where possible to negotiate payment on your own terms and don’t trust that just because they’re larger they are sure to pay.