When you start out in business for yourself and are providing a service, there is a temptation to take on any client thinking it is all grist to the mill. Each new client will bring in a bit more money. I have been there myself and made mistakes. Part of reason for this blog is to share my mistakes so that others don’t make them.
Of course, low value clients are not just those who don’t pay you much money. Their low value is also because they do not appreciate what your business and you do for them. They accept what you might be doing for you as a commodity, not as a personal service for them.
Still, we can have some lapses and forget our lessons. I saw someone last year, and as she had a new start-up business I thought I would give her a really good starter deal for the first year to help her along and because (I thought) she would appreciate the gesture and we would build on the relationship.
So as it was time to deal with annual matters, though not all that long since we last spoke having dealt with the previous year issues late, I dropped her a line. I had a reply “I won’t be needing your services as my father has managed to do it for me for free”.
So that is me told, in no uncertain terms. She does not need my help or my technical expertise. She would rather rely on an amateur. The sweetheart deal I had already given her was not considered of even such value that she had the courtesy to tell me she did not want me again. She might have paid a fairer price last time if asked, but it is too late now.
There are lessons here:
- Always bill what the job is worth.
- Accept that some customers cannot see value in what we do, ever!
- Some people are just discourteous and rude, but get over it.
Of course another lesson here is that we never stop learning. Have you had a slap in the face recently?