I saw read Seth Godin's post today on customers, entitled "All Customers are Smarter than Average" and I had this irresistible urge to add to it.
I've been freelancing for years now and in that time I've had the privilege to work with some terrific clients...at the same time, I've worked with some that, should I say were less than ideal. In further confirming Seth's concept that all customers/clients feel they are better than average, I've found that no matter how cheap, demanding, indecisive, rude, or difficult the customer/client is, they feel as if anyone would find them a joy to work with. Unbelievable.
In truth, there have been some rare occasions where a client
admitted she/he was trying to squeeze out more than what was agreed upon in the
project proposal, or that funds were really low and they needed some help
affording a project, but more often than not they don't recognize it. In some
cases I don't think the clients cared if they were seen as unpleasant to work
with, in other instances I feel they were so focused on themselves, they never
realized it. Either way, this can be a challenge for freelancers.
If you're freelancing you're of course going to find great clients out there - and bad ones too.
None of these people are going to wear a sign around their
neck indicating they are a good or a bad client, none of them is going to actually
tell you they are a bad client, that they intend on being rude or that their
crap stinks. Like Seth points out, all clients/customers are going to think
they are better than average. Since we know that's not entirely true, the best
way for you to handle this is to make a conscious effort over time to develop the
skill of being able to read people and make sound judgments about them.
PS - Hey thanks for passing this blog along to other freelancers, even if you decide not to purchase any resources, I really do appreciate this...and make sure you check out Seth's blog as well, as a freelancer you should be checking it out regularly as well.