As a founder of a design and web agency, I come from a market segment where everybody thinks that clients are stupid and evil individuals who they never understand.
If you are a designer who thinks: “Yes. It is what it is,” Then let me give you great news: The client thinks exactly the same way about you. So, I figured that if two people feel and think the same way about each other, there has to be one reason for it: miscommunication.
The trick is to be able to see yourself from your client’s perspective. New clients might see you as profit-oriented bloodsucker, while other people may have faith in you. If you get this right, you will know what you need to give the client, so that they get more from you than expected.
In my experience, I have found that there is always an important base for every successful relationship, whether with a live partner, friend or a client: trust.
Don’t forget, even if you are a motivational developer or designer and try to have faith in clients, not everyone is like you are. Businesspeople, profit- and award-oriented developers and designers and unprofessional people who cannot back up their work are poisoning the reputation of honest and skilled developers and designers. It is your obstacle to prove yourself to the client during the first and second projects to win the client’s trust.
It is a fact that everything good and bad that we feel during any relationship is triggered by our human instincts. If your girlfriend or boyfriend is cheating on you, your trust in the relationship is more and less over or damaged, because you have lost your trust in a person. The same happens in a relationship with clients.
It does not matter what kind of problems you are having, whether it is a cash flow problem, a personal issue at home, or you being sick. As bad it is, it will make the client feel insecure about your professionalism if you come up with excuses to not finishing something by a deadline, or at all. You always need to have a backup plan; never make your problems your client’s problems unless there is no other way out.
The client pays you because he needs you. He pays you because he is not able to realize his vision by himself. But it is your responsibility as a graphic designer or a web designer to realize the client’s vision according to his requirements.
Even if communicating with the client is difficult, never forget your responsibilities. It is your job to inform people before they make a mistake. It is the same as how you would try to help someone who is jumping off a bridge. If the person jumps, at least you tried your best to help him or her; after all, it is the client’s right to do what he wants, since you only have a consulting function.
The biggest mistake that designers do is to give clients a wide range of selections. Firstly, it is your choice the get the right solution. And if you give choices to clients, it makes them insecure with trusting you as a designer to make decisions. And why would you have the client do your job? It is your task to understand the client before you even starting to make design proposals. You can try to understand the client by talking to him, asking him important questions and involving the client in certain sketching processes.
Like a soldier you have a mission to complete your project, no matter what it takes. In our agency, we also encounter problems and issues with some people, but you always need to have the completion and the agreed requirements in mind. Therefore, you need to summarize and let your client approve the requirements and scope of the project. You can achieve this with a detailed description and written quotations. But never leave a job unfinished; it is your mission to fulfil the job using the tools and budget that you have.
There never will be just black and white; there are different shades of grey. You can always see things from different angles, and each angle has different views. The key is to get a neutral perspective and never count on your personal view because working with a client is a team effort and you always need to evaluate situations from a neutral point of perspective in order to be fair and correct.
We live in a world where everybody tries to survive, and there is so much poison in this world. And it is just a fact that the bad things about something or somebody spread faster than the good things. Don’t let profit poison your mind and always keep your word; then your work, will always reflect who you are.