You’ve had a bad experience with a client. Hopefully you’ve been able to grit your teeth and get through it. naturally things will go quiet for a while until suddenly, out of the blue the client comes back.
Perhaps this lesson could be summed up by its title. As part of your working practice you should keep a CRM that goes over every project its worth and notes. This is especially useful if a project has gone wrong as if the same issues keep cropping up…it could be you not the clients!
When a client comes back it’s important to look over your notes and remind yourself what went wrong and take extra steps to try and prevent it. It’s tricky but you need to have a friendly conversation with the client that addresses the issues before even starting.
Having said this, in my experience this doesn’t always sort the issue like you’d hope. This is especially true when dealing with tricky, indecisive clients. No matter how much you politely tell them, they will continue to be tricky and indecisive. With some clients it even became a running joke.
Now That Costs More
Where you have a paying client, the possibility of regular work but a few problems it’s worth keeping that client around. The difference is that you charge them more for the privilege. This is directly as a result of the extra time you’ll need to work with them and if you phrase it in a nice way during the quote, the client will be happy.
“I would estimate this would take 3 days but if we can keep the changes down to two rounds, I will knock off half a day’s payment.” This provides a great incentive to the client to work with you and frames a potential problem client in a positive light.
If you decide to give a client another chance (and vice versa with them and you) and find yourself facing the exact same issues, even where you’ve taken extra steps to avoid them, at that point I would suggest that unless you need the money then get through the project and get rid.
Choosing your clients is a key process in success. Do everything you can to help people and make the process as simple as possible, but don’t put yourself in a stressful situation for the sake.