Here’s my process when interviewing a new (prospective) client:
- I conduct my Client Interview Questionnaire. This is a list of questions I’ve been adding on to for the past couple of years
- I try to get into my client’s head and see how their business objectives can be achieved through my design and technology solutions. Here, the prospect usually gets more confident about the project and starts listing out concrete requirements for the project.
- We talk about budget and scope and I get back to them with an estimate which we use as a statement of work
I’ve been fairly lucky with all of my clients as most have understood the amount of work is involved in web. However, once in a while, I get those prospects that at first seem to understand a good budget for this type of work, but in reality have grossly under budgeted their project.
In these situations, when we get to step three of my initial client interview, their budget turns out to be something along the lines of “none” to “a couple of hundred dollars”.
Not something a web shop would like to hear. These clients usually have change requests by the boatloads and have scope creep trailing them wherever they go.
One of the Undesirable Clients
Of course you want to say no right away. I have.
Lately, I’ve been saying “no” by up-selling them. Once I identify that this prospect may be a headache, I give that headache a monetary value.
Raise Your Rates on the Undesirables
Up the rate by 25%. Do it. Even after they tell you their budget.
If they say no, it’s exactly what you wanted. If they say yes then….
Up your deposit by 25%. Protect your business.
They said yes. Shit.
Well, that’s why you upped your rate and upped your deposit. If you end up having to fire them (another blog post perhaps) you’ve at least gained some value out of it.
By value, I mean money. You know that right