10 things clients/potential clients actually said (really)

Posted on: February 24th, 2011

These are real things that clients – and potential clients – have said to me over the years. And you can see why the potential clients didn’t turn into actual clients.

‘Sorry it’s taken us so long to go through the copy. However, we can’t move the deadline, so can you turn it round for us really quickly?’

‘I really like your work but you’re too expensive for me. Can you recommend anyone cheaper?’

‘I know it’s Friday lunchtime but can you work over the weekend and get this to us on Monday morning?’ To which I replied: ‘No problem. I charge double for weekend working.’ To which the client replied: ‘I’m sure it can wait until Wednesday.’

‘Thanks for your quote. Now can you give me a really good discount?’

‘Sorry we haven’t paid you yet but we posted a new cheque book to our accounts lady and the postman’s cart was stolen.’

‘We’d like our tone of voice to sound friendly but professional.’ (If I had a pound every time I heard that one… A company’s tone of voice is what differentiates them – ‘friendly and professional’ hardly does that. )

‘We’d like to sound like Innocent.’ (Again, wish I had a pound every time I heard that! And why would they want to sound like someone else? Why can’t they be themselves?)

‘We’ve got lots of work over the next six months, so please give us a keen price.’  (TIP: There never is any more work – and, anyhow, why work at a discount?)

‘We’ve got really tight deadlines and we need you to lower your rate if you want this job.’

This comment was a propos a corporate website of about 50 pages: ‘I’ve got about 45 minutes – that should be long enough to brief you, shouldn’t it?’

What gems have your clients/prospective clients come up with?


6 Responses to “10 things clients/potential clients actually said (really)”

  1. Hannah Marcheselli
    February 24th, 2011

    Priceless. Some of these are absolute classics. Interesting that we wouldn’t be able to get away with similarly poor excuses ourselves when dealing with clients! Particularly cheeky when people ask for discounts, too.

  2. Freelance FactFile
    February 24th, 2011

    I know! And it’s those who aren’t prepared to pay the going rate who always seem to be the most problematic/most demanding. Still, we live and learn/once bitten twice shy etc etc.

  3. Merl Storr
    March 11th, 2011

    “Thanks for the quote and free sample, but can I pay you [insert hilariously low figure] for the same work instead?”

    But my all time favourite has to be: “This translation is really urgent, and I’m too busy to do the paperwork right now. Can you do the translation this afternoon, and I’ll send you the purchase order tomorrow?” Erm… no.

  4. Freelance FactFile
    March 11th, 2011

    Love these, Merl!

    Another of my faves is “I love your work but another writer has quoted half your price. Are you prepared to match that?”

    Answer is, of course, ‘no’. Often they come back to me and say. “Actually, we weren’t really happy with what the other writer did for us.” (Ooh, surprise!)

  5. Angelika Davey
    March 11th, 2011

    Yes, I’ve had: ‘Can you do it for (whatever cheaper price).
    My reply: ‘No, but I’m sure you can find somebody on the internet who does, good luck’
    A week later: Ok, can you do it? ;-)

  6. Carole
    March 12th, 2011

    Hi Angelika

    Yes, I’ve had that as well! Thing is, clients always get what they pay for…

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