Changed: Definition of a Good Client

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This year the definition of a good client has changed for most of us. Before, a good client was one who:

  • Wasn't fussy.
  • Had a clear idea of what they wanted or trusted your judgement if they didn't.
  • Were reasonable about extensions if needed.
  • Gave feedback
  • Paid on time

Now, a good client is one who:

  • Informs beforehand that they'll no longer be able to afford you and that this will be your last assignment with them.
  • Contacts you on their own telling you about a delay in payment.
  • Gives a straight answer when you email inquiring about the due payment.
  • Gives you an excellent recommendation.
  • Apologize (Okay this one's a personal 'feel better' issue of mine).

What was your definition of a good client and how has it changed, if at all?

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5 comments:
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Daanish said...
January 14, 2009 at 8:18 PM  

neat way of describing financial crunch,everyone is feeling,see what war does:(

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Ruth said...
January 15, 2009 at 6:54 AM  

That sounds right. I love it when clients are up front with me about payment issues. One person said that he would be able to pay as soon as he got his next paycheck and gave me a date. Another person e-mailed me to postpone the work I was going to do on her site until her payday.

I think they both felt guilty about it, but I let them know that I was happy to know that the money was coming and have an idea of the timeframe.

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Samar Owais said...
January 15, 2009 at 8:08 AM  

Daanish: The financial crunch is due more because of the scams and frauds that went on in some of the top firms and banks of the world. It's more because of the lack of confidence in the markets.

Ruth: I had a client who emailed me to tell me that the payment would be late. That's what got me thinking. A good client simply isn't one who pays on time. A good client is one who respects you as well.

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Jason Cohen said...
January 15, 2009 at 8:41 AM  

It's funny because it's true.

I'm also finding that the customers who remain are becoming more demanding, even to the point of no longer being profitable to support.

So then I'm left with an odd dilemma -- should we keep these customers or not?

You could argue "yes" because eventually things will recover and you'll still have these customers. Also because not being profitable but having revenue is perhaps still better than not having the revenue.

You could argue "no" because not being profitable is the end of the game.

What are your thoughts on this?

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Samar Owais said...
January 17, 2009 at 11:51 PM  

Hi Jason, you've raised a very good question. I'll be addressing it in a blog post.

Sorry about not getting back to you before. Watch the blog for it!

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