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The first purchase is a test

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Andy Black

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I like to offer something small(er) to get started.

An offer they shouldn't be able to refuse.

The first purchase is a test - both ways!

I want them to feel they're getting value immediately. I want to pass *their* test so we can deepen the relationship.

I also want to know whether they pay on time, are a PITA, and whether I can even add value.

If it's all green lights then we'll start adding more value, and getting paid more.
 
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I like to offer something small(er) to get started.

An offer they shouldn't be able to refuse.

The first purchase is a test - both ways!

I want them to feel they're getting value immediately. I want to pass *their* test so we can deepen the relationship.

I also want to know whether they pay on time, are a PITA, and whether I can even add value.

If it's all green lights then we'll start adding more value, and getting paid more.
How about a red light?
Press on or bail out?:arghh:
 

AgainstAllOdds

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How about a red light?
Press on or bail out?:arghh:

I'm not Andy, but I think I can answer from his perspective.

You don't want shitty clients. The customer isn't always right. Some clients suck and are not worth the time and effort of dealing with.

Reasons why clients suck include:
  • Don't pay on time (destroys your cash flow and also a potential risk in terms of what you're investing into them... might never get paid)
  • Take up too much of your time (this time could be spent on growth or simply enjoying yourself)
  • Pain in the a$$ (usually this goes back to time, but sometimes it comes down to respect - depends how much self-respect you want relative to how much money you're making on them)
  • Price (some clients give you the worst margins, tie up your cashflow, and tie up your time; that time and cash would be better invested into different clients)
  • Dead end (if you're not adding value to them, eventually they'll leave; question for you is if it's better to take the short term money or invest that time into a client that will be recurring)
End of the day, it comes down to opportunity cost.

You're limited with a handful of resources: time, cash, psyche, etc.

Each time you take on a new client, chances are that they come at a time, cash, and emotional cost. You have to take all of the different factors into account, calculate how much you're actually getting paid (a lot of cash for a lot of work is not as good as some cash for no work), and then determine if they're worth it relative to the other opportunities available.

If you're just starting out, then your opportunity cost is zero, so you might take on a shitty client. But if you're established, then you can pick and choose and concentrate on what matters most to you. If you take on one client, you're limited in your ability to take on another. Is that one client worth the potential of another? These are all questions you need to ask. Each person's situation is different, but for the most part, no, you don't press on. You bail and look for better customers.
 

ZF Lee

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I'm not Andy, but I think I can answer from his perspective.

You don't want shitty clients. The customer isn't always right. Some clients suck and are not worth the time and effort of dealing with.

Reasons why clients suck include:
  • Don't pay on time (destroys your cash flow and also a potential risk in terms of what you're investing into them... might never get paid)
  • Take up too much of your time (this time could be spent on growth or simply enjoying yourself)
  • Pain in the a$$ (usually this goes back to time, but sometimes it comes down to respect - depends how much self-respect you want relative to how much money you're making on them)
  • Price (some clients give you the worst margins, tie up your cashflow, and tie up your time; that time and cash would be better invested into different clients)
  • Dead end (if you're not adding value to them, eventually they'll leave; question for you is if it's better to take the short term money or invest that time into a client that will be recurring)
End of the day, it comes down to opportunity cost.

You're limited with a handful of resources: time, cash, psyche, etc.

Each time you take on a new client, chances are that they come at a time, cash, and emotional cost. You have to take all of the different factors into account, calculate how much you're actually getting paid (a lot of cash for a lot of work is not as good as some cash for no work), and then determine if they're worth it relative to the other opportunities available.

If you're just starting out, then your opportunity cost is zero, so you might take on a shitty client. But if you're established, then you can pick and choose and concentrate on what matters most to you. If you take on one client, you're limited in your ability to take on another. Is that one client worth the potential of another? These are all questions you need to ask. Each person's situation is different, but for the most part, no, you don't press on. You bail and look for better customers.
Thanks for the answer. Personally, I have faced off with the first, second and fourth. Hate these kinds. Or even worse, those who try to pillage and cheat you might dupe you long enough to incur some losses.

When I did copy, it was more of loss of resources in terms of time rather than money. I somehow find the loss of time more irritating and frustrating, than cash though whenever the pumpkin plots went to crap.
 
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Andy Black

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I'm not Andy, but I think I can answer from his perspective.

You don't want shitty clients. The customer isn't always right. Some clients suck and are not worth the time and effort of dealing with.

Reasons why clients suck include:
  • Don't pay on time (destroys your cash flow and also a potential risk in terms of what you're investing into them... might never get paid)
  • Take up too much of your time (this time could be spent on growth or simply enjoying yourself)
  • Pain in the a$$ (usually this goes back to time, but sometimes it comes down to respect - depends how much self-respect you want relative to how much money you're making on them)
  • Price (some clients give you the worst margins, tie up your cashflow, and tie up your time; that time and cash would be better invested into different clients)
  • Dead end (if you're not adding value to them, eventually they'll leave; question for you is if it's better to take the short term money or invest that time into a client that will be recurring)
End of the day, it comes down to opportunity cost.

You're limited with a handful of resources: time, cash, psyche, etc.

Each time you take on a new client, chances are that they come at a time, cash, and emotional cost. You have to take all of the different factors into account, calculate how much you're actually getting paid (a lot of cash for a lot of work is not as good as some cash for no work), and then determine if they're worth it relative to the other opportunities available.

If you're just starting out, then your opportunity cost is zero, so you might take on a shitty client. But if you're established, then you can pick and choose and concentrate on what matters most to you. If you take on one client, you're limited in your ability to take on another. Is that one client worth the potential of another? These are all questions you need to ask. Each person's situation is different, but for the most part, no, you don't press on. You bail and look for better customers.
^^^ This! Thanks for the reply @AgainstAllOdds. Rep+

One of my favourite lines about sales:
 

AgainstAllOdds

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When I did copy, it was more of loss of resources in terms of time rather than money. I somehow find the loss of time more irritating and frustrating, than cash though whenever the pumpkin plots went to crap.

Time = Money

The conversion rate is different for different people, but that's a truth worth living by.

And I get the frustration. When someone steals time it's more insulting because it shows they think they're above you.
 

Andy Black

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Time = Money

The conversion rate is different for different people, but that's a truth worth living by.

And I get the frustration. When someone steals time it's more insulting because it shows they think they're above you.
When someone doesn't value my time, I find it's often because they don't put a value on their own time.

They're often the type who'd rather spend months scouring the internet to work out how to do something themselves, rather than hire someone to do it.

They consider the knowledge they find on the internet "free", because they don't attach an hourly rate to their time finding it and making sense of it.

So when someone doesn't value my time, it tells me a lot about them.
 
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Nicoknowsbest

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I have seen many of the things pointed out by @AgainstAllOdds myself in the last couple of months.

I believe a lot of it comes down to manners and respect.

I rarely had problems with a client who respected himself, me and my work.

It took me a while to understand that when CEOs are short on the phone, it's not because they don't like you.

It's because they respect their and your time.

The tricky part is to walk the fine line between "Yes, I need the money" and "No, we are not a good fit", especially in the beginning.

I feel that many employees of bigger companies don't know where to draw the line between "managing employees" and talking about a project to a "partner company".

Especially during flat-rate deals that go on for weeks or months, some people think you are an employee.

That's why working with business owners directly is sooo different from working with employees of bigger companies.

While we all have bad days once in a while, how you do one thing is how you do everything.

That's why learning about your project partner early on is worth much more than getting your usual rates right away.
 

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