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I know this is a late comment but...

While nearly all of your responses to the other examples are spot on, I feel this response would have totally turned me off. Based on it alone (not accounting for your rapport with the client, quality of work) you may have lost my business after this.

Instead of complying with his request (I assume he has the rights to have the design), it sounded standoffish, as though you were hesitating to return his design, that he had no choice but to sit down with you before getting the design he paid for. It simply sounds as though he needs more printed.

I may be in the minority but I can't stand having someone make everything a sales pitch, especially so out of the blue. Hate it with a passion, actually.

By the way, thanks for this amazing blog! I found it today and it's a great read. Thanks for sharing your experience and wisdom.

Thanks for your insights Ben. It doesn’t surprise me that a few folks might not go along with this piece of advice – it’s risky and it’s definitely an attempt to keep a client that might otherwise be walking out the door.

That said, with the tough economic landscape that we have today, I don’t know if there are a lot of freelancers that can afford to run the risk of clients walking out on them – especially if it might be over a small miscommunication or misunderstanding.

It costs roughly 9X more to find a new client than to keep an old, so while I agree that this wouldn’t be my favorite aspect of freelancing (it does feel “salesish”), I will inquire about the situation and look to offer my help to the client. The Great One, Wayne Gretsky said it best, “You don’t score on 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

In any case, you bring up some legitimate points…I guess you’d have to consider:

Would you just give them the files, say nothing and just hope they stay with you as a client or would you address the situation?

If you decided the later, what might you say to the client?

If you decided the former and you do lose the client because you gave them the files and said nothing, would it bother you?

Let me know what you think; you may have a better approach than I’ve outlined :)

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    A very small sample of the actual illustrations drawn for the Being a Starving Artist Sucks, and Verbal Kung Fu for Freelancers book. The illustrations were done by: Matt Hein, Rich Arnold and Carlos Ponce - 3 outstanding designers.