Client: Do you think you can bring down the price a little? I'm retired and this is a side project for me.
Me: Well... I'm not retired, and this is my full time job, so...
Me: Have you had a chance to look at that contract yet?
Client: Not yet. Would you mind if I waited to sign it until after the first deliverable?
Me: Uh... I would mind that. I would mind that very much.
Client: Well then how am I supposed to protect my investment?
Had a client that was incredibly cost sensitive from the get go.
They recently sent me a brief for a complicated writing project. I began, and it became clear that the scope of the project was larger than I realized.
Me: This is a much bigger job than I expected. I'm going to have to incrementally increase my quote.
Client: Fine, I guess.
Eventually I finished the project. She sent me a number of small revisions - she was very exacting - and I made everything even though I was already over my budgeted time.
After sending in my invoice, I got this back from the client:
Client: It took me two hours to look at what you sent. Normally it would take 10-15 minutes. Perhaps we can compromise and I'll pay you half of what we agreed?
It took you longer because it was a big project - that doesn't mean you get to pay me less.
I was hired to write and design a business plan for a client who invited me their office. When I arrived, I was blown away: shelves and shelves of book. Self-help books.
Client: Thanks for coming in - I just wanted to make sure we were on the same page. I really believe in this project, and I'd like you to reflect that passion.
Me: Yes, I mean, absolutely. That's the job.
He stared at me for a moment, and then he said:
Client: I'd like you to read something.
He handed me a book. A book that he wrote. A book of business advice.
Me: Okay, you want me to use this as an example, or...?
Client: Just read that. Think on it.
I read the first chapter. His advice included "say yes to EVERYTHING." It was at this moment I realized I needed to draw some strong boundaries.
Sure enough, a week or so after he gave me the book he asked me to do him a side job "on the house." He was kind of intense when he asked it. I said no, and not long after he "went a different direction." He paid me for my time, so there's that.
Years later I met the woman who ghost-wrote that book. Apparently, at one point he asked her if she'd do it - ghost write - for "exposure."
I do art commissions, and one thing I've unfortunately noticed is that the more people compliment your work the less likely they are to pay your prices.
This is a verbatim exchange I just had over email minus signatures and stuff.
Client: I've been looking through profile sites a lot lately and you really caught my eye. What a delicate style! There's a control there that most don't have. I'm writing a book and in talks to have it published and I was hoping you would be so good as to grace my project with your amazing, masterful art in an original digital painting?
Me: I'd love to! My rate is between $300 and $500, depending on complexity, rights, etc.
Client: Are you sure? You're good, but are you really good enough to ask for THAT much?
I'm at least good enough not to deal with this bulls***.
I'd been doing blog articles for a company for some time. They'd been late paying on a number of occasions, in part because they still mailed checks instead of e-transfers. When they did eventually switch over, it was night and day - I got paid within three weeks of submitting an invoice (which, sadly, was pretty good for them).
Then one day I got an email:
Client: We're shifting back to mailing checks for payroll purposes.
"Maybe it will be okay" I thought. "Maybe they're just saving some accounting money this way, and they'll still pay on time."
The next time I received payment was FOUR MONTHS LATE, and was "in the mail" for at least two of those. I swear they just changed back to get away with late payment.
i was writing in a print shop. A client came in with a free hand drawing of a poster layout.
Client: I'd like to get this printed, please.
Me: As is? Or did you want this designed into something print-ready?
Client: I want it to be a poster for this event, yes.
Me: Okay, that will take a bit and we'll have to charge you for a design.
Client: What? But I designed it! Everything's right here!
Client: I'll come clean with you. I have someone else lined up to do this at half your price, but I want YOU to do it. So... what can you do for me to make my decision easier?
Me: Walk away and wish you luck.
Don't waste my time with a bargaining tactic that may or may not be true, a**hole.